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Missouri Department of Conservation 




Public Input Summary 
For the Proposed Paddlefish Regulation Change 



January 22, 2013 



Table of Contents 

Executive Summary 4 

Introduction 5 

Strategic Goals 6 

Measureable Objectives 6 

Target Audiences 6 

MDC Key Messages 7 

Topic Key Messages 7 

Talking Points 8 

Call to Action 9 

Project Team 9 

Communication Strategies 9 

Communication Tactics 9 

Responsibilities for Tactics 10 

Existing Communication Tools from Requesting Division(s) or Staff 10 

Tactic Timeline 10 

Open Houses 2012 10 

Open House Stations 1 1 

Open House Comment Summaries and Themes 17 

On-line, Phone and e-mail Comments 18 

Appendix 1 -Tactic Timeline 20 

Appendix 2-Open House Invitation Letter - On-line comment page indicating 

Yes, stay in touch 22 

Appendix 3-Open House Invitations Letter - People with paddlefish questions during 

2012 and those on an e-mail list to receive the paddlefish snagging report 23 

Appendix 4-Open House Flyer 24 

Appendix 5-Comment Card - Paddlefish Informational Open House 25 



Appendix 6-Open House Handout 27 

Appendix 7 -Open House Summaries and Themes 28 

Appendix 8-On-line Paddlefish Comment Page 32 

Appendix 9 - Paddlefish On-line Comments 33 

Appendix 10-Proposed Regulation Comments - On-line, Phone and e-mail 34 

Appendix 11 -On-line comments as submitted 39 

Appendix 12 - Comment Flyer & Poster for the Missouri State Fair and other Fairs 58 



Executive Summary 

• The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is responsible for managing and 
protecting the fish and wildlife resources of the state, including paddlefish. 

• Paddlefish are highly valued by both sport anglers and commercial fishermen. 

• MDC stocks paddlefish at the Lake of the Ozarks (LOZ), Harry S. Truman Reservoir, 
and Table Rock Lake. 

• Paddlefish broodstock are collected from the reservoirs each spring and taken to Blind 
Pony Hatchery where eggs are collected and fertilized. The fry are raised until October 
when almost 40,000, 10 to 12-inch fingerlings are then stocked in Lake of the Ozarks 
(15,000), Harry S. Truman Reservoir (15,000), and Table Rock Lake (7,500). 

• MDC biologists want to obtain better harvest information from sport snaggers and 
commercial fishermen as part of an effort to improve paddlefish management throughout 
Missouri. 

• Paddlefish populations have declined over the last 100-plus years due primarily to habitat 
alterations. 

• MDC biologists have been studying these prehistoric fish since the 1960s, and still have 
much to learn. This information will help staff make any necessary adjustments in the 
current stocking program and improve MDC's statewide paddlefish management efforts. 

• Five open houses were conducted in October 2012. Public input was collected at these 
events, along with the collection of online comments at mdc.mo.gov/node/17458. 

• A total of 66 people participated in the 2012 open houses that were held in Springfield, 
Columbia, Warsaw, Cape Girardeau, and St Louis. Thirty-three (33) comments were 
received at the open houses and 202 comments have been received online. There is 
strong support for the proposed regulation from the comments that have been received. 

• Common themes heard at the open houses include: 

o People understand the need for stocking to maintain the fishery. 
o People did not want another "tax" for the cost of the permit 
o Several comments at Warsaw mentioned a misunderstanding that a tag/permit 
would be required for each paddlefish snagged 

• Common themes from online comments include: 

o Support for proposed regulation 

o Cost - concerned about increase in cost for another permit 

o Permit - keep the process simple 

o Against tagging harvested fish 

o Law enforcement & enforcement issues 

o Telecheck - support and issues 

o Concerns and suggestions 

o Misc. Comments 



Introduction 

Paddlefish are highly valued by both sport anglers and commercial fishermen. Through Missouri 
Department of Conservation (MDC) stocking efforts at three large reservoirs, Missouri is a great 
place to snag for paddlefish and offers some of the best paddlefish snagging fisheries in the U.S. 

The reservoirs are: Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, and Table Rock Lake. 
Without MDC's stocking of these fisheries, and other paddlefish management practices, 
paddlefish numbers would sharply decline in Missouri's reservoirs, reducing opportunities for 
sport snaggers. MDC biologists hope to obtain better harvest information from sport snaggers 
and commercial fishermen as part of an effort to improve paddlefish management throughout 
Missouri. 

MDC is responsible for managing and protecting the fish and wildlife resources of the state, 
including paddlefish. We are interested in learning from our sport snaggers and commercial 
fishermen any concerns or suggestions related to the management of this species. 

Abundant naturally-reproducing paddlefish populations were historically found in Missouri's 
two big rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi, and their larger tributaries. Paddlefish populations 
have declined over the last 100-plus years due primarily to habitat alterations. The construction 
and operation of dams have impacted paddlefish populations across their range. One of the 
biggest impacts to Missouri's paddlefish populations was the construction of Truman Dam which 
blocked spawning migrations out of Lake of the Ozarks and flooded historical spawning areas 
upstream around Osceola on the Osage River. Other issues contributing to the decline in 
paddlefish populations include changes in the flow regime (timing and temperature), the illegal 
harvest of adult paddlefish for the caviar and flesh market, and the potential harm from Asian 
carp and zebra mussels, primarily related to diet overlap, resulting competition for food, and 
potential changes in plankton numbers and composition. 

MDC stocks paddlefish to support some of the finest paddlefish sport fisheries in the U. S. Since 
paddlefish do not reproduce in Missouri's large reservoirs, MDC maintains these populations 
with annual stockings of fingerlings. Paddlefish broodstock are collected from the reservoirs 
each spring and taken to Blind Pony Hatchery near Sweet Springs where the eggs are collected 
and fertilized. The fry are raised at the hatchery until October when almost 40,000, 10 to 12-inch 
fingerlings are then stocked in Lake of the Ozarks (15,000), Harry S. Truman Reservoir 
( 1 5 ,000) , and Table Rock Lake (7 ,500) annually . 

MDC biologists have been studying these prehistoric fish since the 1960s, and still have much to 
learn. Angler surveys and other research and monitoring efforts have helped staff assess reservoir 
paddlefish populations, but more data are needed to improve our management. MDC needs more 
and better information on where fishing and harvest occur throughout the state, the number of 
people who fish for paddlefish, and the number and sizes of paddlefish caught and harvested. 
This information will help staff make any necessary adjustments in the current stocking program 
and improve MDC's statewide paddlefish management efforts. 

MDC is beginning a long-term project to obtain additional information on both paddlefish sport 
fishing (snagging) statewide and commercial harvest from the Mississippi River. One part of the 
project focuses on sport fishing (snagging) and is currently in its early phases. Biologists have 
also started working with commercial fishers in a pilot effort to collect biological information on 
the Mississippi River. Similar efforts are being coordinated with other states across the range of 
paddlefish in the U.S. These projects will continue over the next several years. 



Changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri are being considered that would require a new yearly, 
low-cost paddlefish snagging permit for sport snaggers and would implement a Telecheck 
reporting and monitoring system for harvested paddlefish. 

Strategic Goals 

• Maintain and improve MDC paddlefish management using statewide paddlefish harvest 
information. 

• Inform key audiences that paddlefish management is of serious concern, that MDC's role in 
managing the issue is appropriate, that potential regulation changes and permit/reporting 
requirements are reasonable and sensible, and that MDC is listening to and addressing 
concerns related to the issue. 



Measureable Objectives 

Inform key audiences about MDC paddlefish management activities and successful results. 

Obtain feedback from key audiences on snagging activities, possible MDC paddlefish 
regulation changes, and suggestions for obtaining needed information. 

Obtain sufficient stakeholder acceptance for possible new paddlefish regulations to be 
enacted and supported. 

Target Audiences 

Sport snaggers 

Commercial fishers 

Related businesses, such as those that supply snagging equipment and supplies, motels, 
resorts, restaurants, etc. near traditional snagging waters 

Missouri snagging organizations or groups 

MDC staff in Fisheries, Resource Science and Protection, especially around snagging waters 

Media outlets, especially around snagging waters. 



MDC Key Messages 

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish. 

We work with you and for you to sustain healthy forests, fish, and wildlife. 

You can contribute to the future of Missouri's paddlefish fishery. 

Topic Key Messages 

• Paddlefish are highly valued by both sport and commercial fishermen. 

• Through Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) stocking efforts at three large 
reservoirs, Missouri is a great place to snag for paddlefish and offers some of the best 
paddlefish snagging fisheries in the U.S. The reservoirs are: Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. 
Truman Reservoir, and Table Rock Lake. 

• Without MDC's stocking of these fisheries, and other paddlefish management practices, 
paddlefish numbers would sharply decline in Missouri, reducing harvest opportunities for 
both sport snaggers and commercial fishermen. 

• MDC is responsible for managing and protecting the fish and wildlife resources of the 
state, including paddlefish, and is the appropriate agency to address the issue of better 
paddlefish research and management. 

• MDC has used angler surveys, a traditional method of obtaining harvest data for 
paddlefish. One-on-one collection of data is site-specific and as such provides a snapshot 
of the specific areas being surveyed. We cannot use this approach to obtain a statewide 
picture of our paddlefish population. 

• MDC is trying to obtain more and better paddlefish harvest information through possible 
regulation changes that would require a new yearly, low-cost paddlefish snagging permit 
for sport snaggers and implement a Telecheck reporting and monitoring system for 
harvested paddlefish. These possible changes and permit/reporting requirements are 
appropriate, reasonable, and sensible and will yield enhanced harvest and angler 
information for better paddlefish management. 

• Paddlefish stocking and management help make Missouri a great place to fish. 

• MDC is working with sport and commercial fishers to listen to and address their 
comments and suggestions related to the issue. 



Talking Points 

MDC is conducting a long-term project to obtain additional information on both paddlefish 
sport fishing (snagging) statewide and commercial harvest from the Mississippi River. 

o One part of the project focuses on sport fishing (snagging) and is currently in its early 

phases. 
o Biologists have also started working with commercial fishers in a pilot effort to 

collect biological information on the Mississippi River. 
o Changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri are being considered that would require a 
new yearly, low-cost paddlefish snagging permit for sport snaggers and would 
implement a Telecheck reporting and monitoring system for harvested paddlefish. 

MDC stocks paddlefish to support and maintain some of the finest paddlefish sport fisheries 
in the U.S., primarily at Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, and Table Rock 
Lake. 

o Since paddlefish do not naturally reproduce in these three large reservoir fisheries, 

MDC maintains these reservoir populations with annual stockings of fingerlings from 

its Blind Pony Hatchery near Sweet Springs in Saline County. 
o Paddlefish broodstock are collected from the reservoirs each spring and taken to 

Blind Pony Hatchery near Sweet Springs where the eggs are collected and fertilized. 

The fry are raised at the hatchery until October when almost 40,000, 10 to 12-inch 

fingerlings are then stocked in Lake of the Ozarks (15,000), Harry S. Truman 

Reservoir ( 1 5 ,000) , and Table Rock Lake (7 ,500) . 

MDC biologists have been studying these prehistoric fish since at least the 1960s, and still 

have much to learn. 

o Angler surveys and other research and monitoring efforts have helped staff assess 
reservoir populations, but have not provided the full set of data needed to implement 
best management practices. 
o MDC needs more and better information on where fishing and harvest occur 

throughout the state, the number of people who fish for paddlefish, and the number 
and sizes of paddlefish caught and harvested. This information will help staff make 
any necessary adjustments in the current stocking program and improve MDC's 
statewide paddlefish management efforts. 

Abundant naturally-reproducing paddlefish populations were historically found in Missouri's 
two big rivers, the Missouri and Mississippi, and their larger tributaries. Paddlefish 
populations have declined over the last 100-plus years due primarily to habitat alterations. 
o The construction and operation of dams have impacted paddlefish populations across 
their range. One of the biggest impacts to Missouri's paddlefish populations was the 
construction of Truman Dam which blocked spawning migrations out of Lake of the 
Ozarks and flooded historical spawning areas upstream around Osceola on the Osage 
River. 
o Other issues contributing to the decline in paddlefish populations include changes in 
the flow regime (timing and temperature), the illegal harvest of adult paddlefish for 
the caviar and flesh market, and the potential harm from Asian carp and zebra 
mussels, primarily related to diet overlap, resulting competition for food, and 
potential changes in plankton numbers and composition. 



• Your opinions are important to us ! We are interested in your input on our future paddlefish 
management. Opportunities will be provided for your interaction through social media, our 
website, and direct contact with our staff. 

Call to Action 

Help MDC improve snagging in Missouri by providing better information for statewide 
paddlefish management. 

Project Team 

PROJECT LEADER: Trish Yasger, Fisheries, Management Biologist 

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS: Trish Yasger, Fisheries, Management Biologist, and Bruce 
Drecktrah, Fisheries, Blind Pony Hatchery Manager 

OPEN HOUSE COORDINATOR: Michele Baumer, Policy Coordination, Public 
Involvement Coordinator 

WEB COMMUNCIATIONS: Bonnie Chasteen 

STATE WIDE COMMUNICATIONS: Joe Jerek, Outreach & Education, News Services 
Coordinator 

REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Francis Skalicky, Bill Graham 

Communication Strategies 

Use various communication tactics to inform key audiences about the seriousness of the issue 
and MDC's role in addressing the issue through reasonable and sensible actions. 

Use various communication tactics to minimize opposition from key audiences for possible 
MDC regulation changes and other actions related to the issue. 

Communication Tactics 

Develop and communicate Paddlefish Key Messages and Talking Points to staff. 

Base related communications on Paddlefish Key Messages and Talking Points. 

Update MDC website content related to paddlefish management (Weekly Snagging Report 
and Paddlefish webpage) 

Develop and implement a public comment tool through the MDC website. 

Use statewide and regional media releases and media relations to communicate information 

Use MDC social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) to communicate information and 
monitor user feedback. 

Use MDC Intranet and email to communicate information to staff. 

Use media efforts and personal contacts by conservation agents and other staff to 
communicate information and get feedback. 

Conduct Paddlefish Open House Public Forums to share information and get feedback. 

Develop and place local newspaper advertisements for Paddlefish Open House Forums. 

Provide paddlefish information and displays to staff for related events and activities such as 
regional fairs and state fair. 

Responsibilities for Tactics 



TOPICS EXPERT: Trish Yasger 

OPEN HOUSE COORDINATOR: Michele Baumer 

WEB COMMUNICATIONS: Bonnie Chasteen 

STATE WIDE COMMUNICATIONS: Joe Jerek 

REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Bill Graham and Francis Skalicky 

Existing Communications Tools from Requesting Division(s) or Staff 

Conservationist Article: Paddlefishing, Trish Yasger and Mike Bayless, Feb. 2004 

Conservationist Article: Big Game Fishing, Larry R. Beckett, March 2012 

A Summary of Paddlefish Life History Information in Big Rivers, Trish Yasger, November 

2011 

Missouri Paddlefish Plan Addendum, Trish Yasger (Chair), September 2003 

Management Plan for Paddlefish Management in Missouri, Kim Graham (Chair), 1992 

Web: Weekly Paddlefish Snagging Report (March 15 - April 30, since 2005) 

Web Content Page: Paddlefish 

Web Field Guide: Paddlefish 

PowerPoint: Paddlefish Snagging Clinic, Paddlefish Regulation Talk 

Email Database: Trish is keeping e-mail addresses of snaggers requesting information 

Paddlefish Comment Page on web: Trish is keeping comments and list of snaggers who want 
to stay in touch 

Tactic Timeline 

A tactic timeline was developed and is updated as necessary (Appendix 1). 

Open Houses 2012 

Five open house forums were held around the state so the public could learn more about the 
potential regulation changes and share their opinions and comments. News releases, letters 
(Appendix 2 and 3), and flyers (Appendix 4) were used to inform the public. The following 
open houses were held: 

Springfield-Thursday, October 18 th , 5-7 p.m., Springfield Conservation Nature Center 
Columbia- Wednesday, October 24 th , 5-7 p.m., Columbia Regional Office 
Warsaw-Thursday, October 25 th , 5-7 p.m., Warsaw Community Building 
Cape Girardeau-Monday, October 29 th , 5-7 p.m., Cape Girardeau Nature Center 
St. Louis-Tuesday, October 30 th , 5-7 p.m., St. Louis Regional Office 



10 



Open House Stations 



Station 1 -Welcome 




Welcome 





KEY MESSAGES - WELCOME TABLE 

• Greet people as they come into the room 

• Orient participants 

• Give them a comment card (see appendix 5) 

• Give them a meeting handout (see appendix 6) 



11 



Station 2-The Issue 





The Department need i statew ide s port snaggm-j 
Information ts imp have paddefis+i stacking and 
management InformatKin neeifc include: 

- The number of people snagging 

■ the num ber and size of 
harvested paddlefish 

■ Where people snag 



KEY MESSAGES - THE ISSUE 

MDC needs statewide sport snagging information to improve paddlefish stocking and 
management information needs include: 

o The number of people snagging 

o The number and size of harvested paddlefish 

o Where people snag 



12 



Station 3-Paddlefish Facts 




The c aac is Natl Is one of only two living species from an ancient family 
of fresh wate r ft hes. 

■ They are a long- Uvea species w It h the potential to Irve more t nan 
30 years. 

- Padoleflsh can reach 5-7 feet in length and 160 lbs. 

- the MO state record is '53 lbs and A oz — Table Rock Lake, 
March 5002 

Paddlefish peach sexual maturity in reservoirs at 5-6 years for males 
and 7-6 years for fema las. Growt h e sbwer in rivers. 

5pnng spawning runs are dependent upon weather conditions; 
pn manly photope nod, water temperatu re, and flow. 

Historically, Missouri has had substantial paddlefish populations in the 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their larger tributaries. 



The primary sport f Ishenes of sign if lea nee in Misso ur i 
are in three reservoirs: Lake of the Ozarks. Harry 5. 
Truman Lake. an a Table Rock Lake. 



Our knowledge regarding paddlefish populations 

in Missouns big nversand 

their tributaries is I imited as compared 

to the reservoi rs. 




KEY MESSAGES - PADDLEFISH FACTS 

Paddlefish are long-lived with the potential to live more than 30 years 

Paddlefish can reach 5-7 feet in length and 160 pounds 

The Missouri state record is 139 lbs and 4 oz from Table Rock Lake in March of 2002 

Male paddlefish reach sexual maturity at 5-6 years and females at 7-8 years. Growth is 
slower in rivers 

Spring spawning runs are dependent upon weather conditions, primarily photoperiod, water 
temperature and flow 

Historically Missouri has had substantial paddlefish populations in the Mississippi and 
Missouri rivers and their larger tributaries 

Paddlefish primary sport fisheries of significance are found in Lake of the Ozarks, Truman 
Lake and Table Rock Lake 



13 



Station 4-Propagation 



Propagation 




Reproduction has not teen documents a in Missouri's large reservoirs; 
the Department maintains these populations with annual stocking of 
hatchery-p.rtKtuc.-ed fingerlings. 

Pad a lefts h are raced at B lind Pony Hatchery and stocked in October. 

The Department E currency stocking: 

- ta Ne Rock — ?,5O0 annual ty 

- Lake Ozark — 15,0043 a nnually 
■ Tru man — 15,000 an nual Jy 

The current padnlefish plan also calls for pulse stockings 
of twice the annual stocking every $ years. 

Paddlef Is h production costs, on average, are 
$100,000 per yea r to ra ise 38,000 paddlef Is h 
flngerlingE to meet our planned, ann ual 
reservoir stockings. 

Without stocking, paddlef Ish numbers would / 
sharply decli ne In Missouri's reservoirs. 




KEY MESSAGES - PROPAGATION 



Reproduction has not been documented in Missouri's large reservoirs; MDC maintains these 
populations with annual stockings of hatchery produced fingerlings 

Paddlefish are raise at Blind Pony Hatchery and stocked in October 

The Department is currently stocking: 
o Table Rock- 7, 500 annually 
o Lake Ozark- 1 5 ,000 annually 
o Truman- 15, 000 annually 

The current paddlefish plan calls for pulse stocking of twice the annual stocking every 3 
years 

It costs, on average, $100,000 to raise 38,000 paddlefish fingerlings 

Without stocking paddlefish numbers would sharply decline in Missouri's reservoirs 



14 



Station 5-Paddlefish Management Objectives and Proposed Changes 



Paddlefish 
Management 
Objectives and 
Proposed Changes 



The primary objective* of the paddlefish management program in 
Missouri are to: 

■ Manage ourreservolf fisheries to provide high quality 
sport fishing 

■ Manage ou r big r f*e re fo r quality, self-sustai nmg popu lations 

The Department needs to monitor and assess paddlefish 
populations and evaluate the effectiveness of existing 
sport and commercial harvest regulations to ensure 
we sustain healthy populations statewide. 

To obtain statewide paddlefish harvest information from 
sport anglers, the Department is proposing: 

■ Hearty, low-cost paddlefish snagging permit 

■ lelecheckof harvested paddlefish 

Additional Information generated will help the 
Department make any necessary adjust merits 
in the current stocking program and improve 
statewide paddlefish management efforts. 




KEY MESSAGES - PADDLEFISH MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES AND PROPOSED 

CHANGES 

Primary objectives of the paddlefish management program in Missouri are to: 
o Manage our reservoir fisheries to provide high quality sport fishing 
o Manage our big rivers for quality, self-sustaining populations 

MDC needs to monitor and assess paddlefish populations and evaluate the effectiveness of 
existing sport and commercial harvest regulations to ensure healthy statewide populations 

Obtain statewide paddlefish harvest information from sport anglers, MDC is proposing: 
o Yearly, low cost paddlefish snagging permit 
o Telecheck of harvested paddlefish 

Additional information generated will help MDC make necessary adjustments in the current 
stocking program and improve statewide paddlefish management efforts 



15 



Station 6-Comments 




KEY MESSAGES - COMMENT CARD TABLE 

• Comment cards are collected 

• Participants were asked if they got their questions answered 

• People were thanked for participating in the open house and giving us their comments 



16 



Open House Comment Summaries and Themes 

Comments from the Open Houses 

In October 2012 five open house forums were held around the state. Comments are summarized 
in Appendix 7. Themes from the Open House: 

• In favor of the proposed regulation 

• Law enforcement issues 

• Concern for the cost of the permit 

• Issues other than the proposed regulation 

Springfield* 

• We received 1 comment card at the Springfield Open House: 

o 1 comment about concern for the cost of the permit 

Columbia* 

• We received 16 comment cards at the Columbia Open House: 

o 9 comments in favor 

o 6 comments about enforcement of the regulation 
o 8 comments about concern for the cost of the permit 
o 1 comment about issue other than proposed regulation 

Warsaw* 

• We received 16 comment cards at the Warsaw Open House: 

o 2 comments in favor 

o 1 comment about enforcement of the regulation 

o 7 comments about concern for the cost of the permit 

o 5 comments about issue other than proposed regulation 

o 2 comments about stocking more fish 

* Not everyone who attended the Open Houses filled out a comment card, and some cards had 
multiple comments. 



17 



On-line, Phone and e-mail Comments 

On 1 1 April 2012 the Paddlefish Comment page On-line (Appendix 8) was launched to allow 
snaggers to share their comments and suggestions on the proposed regulation change. The initial 
comment period ended on 24 December 2012. There have been 202 comments; we received 
comments from 57 of the 114 counties (Appendix 9) and six (6) from out of state (Iowa, Kansas, 
and Illinois). Of the people commenting, 150 indicated that yes they wanted to stay in touch and 
receive future e-mails and news about paddlefish and the proposed regulations. In addition, we 
have received an additional 32 comments by phone and e-mail. Overall, there has been support 
for the proposed regulations. Comments are summarized in Appendix 10 and Appendix 1 1 as 
submitted, however names have been deleted. If the proposed regulations are approved by the 
Conservation Commission, there will be an opportunity for additional public comments. 
Common themes heard during the initial comment period: 

Support for proposed regulation 

Cost - concern about increased cost for another permit 

Permit - keep the process simple 

Against tagging harvested fish 

Law enforcement & enforcement issues 

Telecheck - support and issues 

Concerns and suggestions 

Misc. comments 



18 



Appendices 



19 



Appendix 1 
Tactic Timeline 

• March 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Presentation to Regulations Committee - 21 March 2012 

o Web Content - posting snagging report March-April 2012 

• April 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Web Content - launched On-line Paddlefish Comment Page - 11 April 2012 

(Appendix 8) 
o Web Content - postings to snagging report and paddlefish page 
o Paddlefish Snagging Clinic, Warsaw - 14 April 2012 Presentation included 

information on permit and Telecheck and Comment Page on-line 

• MAY 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Web Content - update paddlefish page 

o MDC Communications Plan: Paddlefish Permit and Telecheck - update as 

needed 
o Presentation LOWA (Lake Ozark Watershed Alliance), Warsaw - 21 May 2012 

• JUNE 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Missouri Conservationist News & Events article - Snaggers: We Need Your Help 

and Want Your Opinions 
o Provide paddlefish Fair and Sport Show Poster information to Martha Daniels. 

• JULY 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Distribute talking points and key messages to staff 

o Print on demand handout - talking points and key messages for distribution at 

fairs, local events, also made into a poster (Appendix 11) 
o Poster at Ozark Empire Fair (Springfield) - 27 July - 4 Aug. 

• AUGUST 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Poster at MO State Fair (Sedalia) - 9-19 Aug. 

• SEPTEMBER 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Poster at Southeast MO Fair (Cape Girardeau) - 8-15 Sept. 

o Set dates and locations for open house forums 

I Springfield - Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7pm 

[ Columbia - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5-7pm 

[ Warsaw - Thursday, Oct. 25, 5-7pm 



20 



I Cape Girardeau - Monday, Oct. 29, 5-7pm 

[ St. Louis - Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5-7pm 
o Print on demand Open House Flyer (Appendix 4) 

o Promote upcoming paddlefish open house forums to media - statewide and local 
o Create open house posters (Pages 11-16) 

• OCTOBER 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Create Share Your Comments flyer to distribute at open house forums 

(Appendix 6) 
o Invites to Open Houses - Paddlefish Comment Page - Yes, stay in touch, 
Snagging Report Group and others that e-mailed about paddlefish during the 
year. 
o Promote upcoming paddlefish open house forums - public web, radio, news 

releases and distribute flyers 
o Public Open House Forums (5): 

I Springfield - Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7pm 
[ Columbia - Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5-7pm 
I Warsaw - Thursday, Oct. 25, 5-7pm 
I Cape Girardeau - Monday, Oct. 29, 5-7pm 
I St. Louis - Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5-7pm 

• NOVEMBER 2012 

o Communication Activities 

• DECEMBER 2012 

o Communication Activities 

o Web Content - close On-line Paddlefish Comment Page - 24 December 2012 



21 



Appendix 2 
Open House Invitation Letter - On-line comment page indicating Yes, stay in touch 

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM, Trish Yasger < Trish Yas ger@ mdc .mo .gov> wrote: 

Thank you for sharing your comments and suggestions with us at the Paddlefish Comments 
page. 

As you know MDC is considering new regulations to establish a yearly, low-cost paddlefish 
snagging permit and Telecheck of harvested paddlefish to collect information on sport 
snagging. We need statewide sport snagging information to improve paddlefish 
populations. Information needs include: 

The number of people snagging 

The number and size of harvested paddlefish 

Where people snag 

We want to invite you to attend one of our public open-house forums to learn more and share 
your opinions. 

Springfield— Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7 p.m. 

Springfield Conservation Nature Center 
4601 South Nature Center Way, Springfield 

Columbia— Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5-7 p.m. 

Columbia Regional Office 
3500 East Gans Road, Columbia 
- Warsaw— Thursday, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m. 

Warsaw Community Building (lower level, west parking lot) 
181 West Harrison, Warsaw 

Cape Girardeau— Monday, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m. 

Cape Girardeau Nature Center 

2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau 
St. Louis— Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5-7 p.m. 

St. Louis Regional Office 
2360 Highway D, St. Charles 

For additional information please see: http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-holding-open-houses- 
potential-paddlefish-permit-changes 

Thank you. 
Trish 



22 



Appendix 3 

Open House Invitation Letter - People with paddlefish questions during 2012 and those on 

e-mail list to receive paddlefish snagging report 

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Trish Yasger < Trish . Yas ger @ mdc .mo .go v> wrote: 

As you know MDC is considering new regulations to establish a yearly, low-cost paddlefish 
snagging permit and Telecheck of harvested paddlefish to collect information on sport 
snagging. We need statewide sport snagging information to improve paddlefish 
populations. Information needs include: 

The number of people snagging 

The number and size of harvested paddlefish 

Where people snag 

We want to invite you to attend one of our public open-house forums to learn more and share 
your opinions. 

Springfield— Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7 p.m. 

Springfield Conservation Nature Center 
4601 South Nature Center Way, Springfield 

Columbia— Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5-7 p.m. 

Columbia Regional Office 
3500 East Gans Road, Columbia 
- Warsaw— Thursday, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m. 

Warsaw Community Building (lower level, west parking lot) 
181 West Harrison, Warsaw 

Cape Girardeau— Monday, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m. 

Cape Girardeau Nature Center 

2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau 
St. Louis— Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5-7 p.m. 

St. Louis Regional Office 
2360 Highway D, St. Charles 

For additional information please see: http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-holding-open-houses- 
potential-paddlefish-permit-changes 

Or to share your comments on-line, please see: http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/protect-your- 
fishing/fish-management-plans/paddlefish-management/help-improve-paddlefishing-0 

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. 

Thanks. 

Trish 



23 



Appendix 4 
Open House Flyer 




OPEN HOUSES 

A - - 



The Missouri D*uaitrr«*fitof 
Csnseivafioh is considering new 

ivguifttSans to estabfish a yearty, ta*- 

o3St bAdcoaflSh Sftaggihg permit aftd 

Telecheck cf hari*sted padd Wish to 
-j ::li ■ ,b ■— a : j ■•■ j'i -.jo-:-,- i:.\-,\-w 

Missouri has some of S* bet 
padd Wish snagging in ** United 

States . The- Department rr ainta ins 
padd Wish papulations in Lake ol the 
aartis. HafTy S. Trufun and Tab la 
Ftotk lakes with annual sto doings af 
hatchery-produced rish 

T'ie Dwi+rrt -leeds statewide 
seat snagging "nfo/mation to 
ifflorov* padd left* populations. 
oifarmaBon naeds "mc lode; 

■ The number of people snaag 'mg 

■ The number and size of 
harvested paddlefish 

■ Where people snag 

Padd Wish stocking and 
ii"Hhag*fi**nt help ff-ane 
Missouri a gj*at plaoe to fish . 



Lea m more and sh ai e you r opin i ore a t on e 
of the M DC public open-hou5E forums 

Springfield— Thursday, Oct. 18, 5-7 p.rn. 
L=^ _- V' »= Loisofval =- hut-KO L.o'Mf 
4*01 Suuti Matin Cantor lUf 

C s lun b i j — Wed nesdair, Oct 24 , 5-7 dal 
C&fcnffe fioffioaaJ Ofiica 
5800 Eodfians ftoazl 

Warsaw— Thursday, Oct. IK, 5-7 p .m . 

Warsaw Co/rim jiity B jicnnfl <QAtf4H^ «ah pvWng loo 
I SI Wo a ria ":c: 

e j pi.' Girardeau— Monday, Oct. 29, 5-7 pjn. 
Lode {rrancoaj rdatjio Cantor 
i^BS Ctnty Psv Oitm 

St. Lou bt— Tuesday, Oct. So, S-7 p.m. 

£t. Lois bacucnal Crffic* 
2SMI HtoJiway D.aLCftaiios 




24 



Appendix 5 

Comment Card 
Paddlefish Informational Open House 

Comment Card-Front Side 

How far did you travel (one way) to attend this meeting? 
Miles 

What is your gender? Male Female 

How many years have you been snagging? 
Years 

How many snagging trips do you usually make in a year? 
Trips 

Where have you snagged in Missouri (circle all that apply)? 

Reservoirs: Lake of the Ozarks Truman Lake Table Rock Lake 

Rivers: Osage (Below Bagnell Dam) Marais des Cygnes (Truman Tributary) 

James (Table Rock Tributary) Flat Creek (Table Rock Tributary) 

Black St. Francis 

Missouri River County 



Rivers that empty into the Missouri: Chariton 

Moreau 

Mississippi River County 



Rivers that empty into the Mississippi: Cuivre 

North Fabius Wyaconda 
South Fabius Meramec 
Other rivers: 

Of these which is your preferred/favorite location to snag? 



Grand 


Lamine 


Gasconade 




Pool 




Salt 


Fox 



Have you ever done any Fall snagging on the Mississippi River? Yes No 



25 



Comment Card-Back Side 

Please share your comments. 



Thank you. 

Your opinions are important to us. 



26 



Appendix 6 
Open House Handout 




MDC Proposed Paddle fish Regulation Changes 

The primary objectives of the paddlefish management prog ram ir> 
Missouri are to: 

■ Manage our reservoir fisheries bo provide high quality sport fishing 
• Manage our big rivers for quality, self-sustaining populations 

MDC needs to monitor and assess paddlefish populations and 
evaluate bhe effectiveness or existing sport a nd commerc ia I harvest 
regulations to ensure we sustain healthy populations statewide. 

MDC manages paddlefish numbers in Lake of the Dzarks, Harry 5. 
Truman Reservoir and Table Rock Lake with annual stockings of 
about 36,000 hatchery ■ prod uced fish. Asa result, Missouri has some 
of the best paddlefish snagging in the United Skates. Without MDC 
stocking, paddlefish numbers would sharply decline in these waters. 

MDC needs mo re and better paddlefish harvest information from sport 
snaggers a round tile state to help improve paddlefish management 

MDC Is considering new regulations that would establish a yearly, 
tow- cost paddlefish snagging permt and Telec heck system to collect 
ki formation on sport snagghg, I nc tiding numbers of people snagging, 
numbers and sizes of harvested paddlefish, and where people snag. 

Information generated wll help the MDC 
make any necessary adjustment sin the 
Current Stocking program and Improve 
statewide paddlefish management efforts. 



^S? 3 



Share your comments on MDC's 
proposed paddlefish regulation chant 
at nndcTno.gov/node/17458. 



27 



Appendix 7 

Open House Summaries and Themes 

Springfield (October 18, 2012): Three (3) people attended (two men and one woman. The 
woman did not snag) 

They traveled 45 miles to attend the meeting 

One had snagged for 36 years and the other snagged for 15 

One went on 5 trips per year and the other 10-12 

One snagged LOZ, Truman, Table Rock and James while the other snagged LOZ, 

Truman, Table Rock, the Osage and the James 

Neither snagged in the Missouri or Mississippi rivers 

Their favorite snagging area was LOZ, including the Niangua Arm of LOZ 

Neither fall snags 

Themes that were heard: 

1 . People were not happy about another "tax" for the cost of the permit 

Comments: 

1 . "I don't feel that there should be a special permit required. The fish could be 
Telechecked using the regular fishing permit already required. It feels like we are 
permitted to death". 

Columbia (October 24, 2012): 32 people attended with 30 filling out a comment card. There 
were 14 students that attended for extra credit, and two of them did snag. 

Students: drove an average of 1 1 miles to attend; 60% were male and 40% were 

female and 86% of the students did not snag 

General Public: drove an average of 20 miles to attend (between 3 and 58 miles) 

o 75% were male and 25% female 

o Average 10 years of snagging (1-24 years) 

o Average of 6 trips per year (1-25 trips) 

o 11 snagged just LOZ; 2 just Truman; 1 both Truman and LOZ and 1 did not circle 

any reservoirs 
o 11 did not snag the smaller rivers; 2 Osage only; 2 Osage and James and 1 Osage, 

James and Flat Creek 
o Missouri River: 1 Cole County; 1 in Carroll and Ray counties; 1 off 1-70 on the 

Lamine; 2 in Saline and Cooper counties on the Lamine 
o Mississippi River: 3 in St. Louis County (1 listed Alton Dam/Chain of Rocks) and 

2 in Pike County (1 listed Louisiana, MO) 
o Other Rivers: 1 Meramec River 
o Favorite location: 12 listed LOZ, with listing 2 mentioning Ivy Bend/Below 

Warsaw; 1 Truman and 1 Alton Dam 
o 11 people did not fall snag and 5 did 

Themes that were heard: 

1 . People understood the need for stocking to maintain the fishery 

2. People were not happy about another "tax" for the cost of the permit 

Comments: 



28 



1 . "I think it's a good idea. The more research you have the better MDC can stock the fish. 
Keep the price low because so many people will only go once a year" 

2. "Enforce length limits. Keep permit cost low-possibility of not needing fish license if 
have to purchase permit for snagging. Send out survey cards ahead of season instead of 
relying on memory" 

3. "Definitely stock more of the river systems! I snag primarily on the Mississippi River at 
Alton and this past spring the catch was way down. Could be because of the increased 
turbidity as to all the gates were up this year, but it was my worse season since I started 
snagging. Also, net fishermen are a HUGE problem around St. Louis. I see them "cuttin 
bellies" and dumping fish on a regular basis ! I think what you are doing is great! ! !" 

4. "Charging for tags would be a big cause to stop snagging. It costs a lot just for fuel and 
more expense would makes snagging less fun and difficult to justify. If you require 
snagging tags then maybe you shouldn't require fishing license just like you can purchase 
deer tags without a hunting license. A survey before opening day would help also. More 
enforcement on the water may be needed because it seems there may be people keeping 
fish that are a little small" 

5. "Each year we take several young people snagging. I am concerned the cost will be a 
deterrent from their parent letting them go. Between the cost of fuel and equipment 
numbers of snaggers has already gone down the last few years. Need better enforcement 
on the water for current laws" 

6. "Don't make more laws until you can enforce the laws you have. People who break laws 
will continue to break laws if you don't enforce them. People who can only go once a 
year won't try to buy a tag for one time. It sounds like this decision has already been 
made!!!" 

7. "I am very concerned about the use of the Telecheck in regards to the possession limit. I 
understand the issue and purpose of the proposal; I am also supportive of the daily limit" 

8. "I think that the proposed permit is a good thing as long as the costs remain low, like no 
more than $5" 

9. "I feel that the current regulations need to be more strongly enforced. If these new 
regulations are put in to play. Will there be more agents enforcing these regulations' on 
the water or at the docks? I understand and support the need for better management but 
hope that the agents are there for proper enforcement" 

10. "I think requiring fishermen to purchase a snagging permit on top of a general fishing 
permit will decrease the number of snaggers and increase the number of disgruntled 
anglers" 

1 1 . "Great set up for the forum and the new system regulation seems very reasonable" 

12. "Great idea to improve paddlefish management!" 

13. "This was very informative and I learned a lot about paddlefish" 

14. "I have never paddlefish snagged but was interested to learn more about it and the 
management approaches being considered" 

15. "I think the permits are a good idea. I have heard it is relatively low costs, so it shouldn't 
cause too much of a reaction from snaggers which is good. I know that fisheries can be 
managed better with more information about the populations so this permit system seems 
like a great idea to me" 

16. "I've never snagged but I do think this is a great idea" 

Warsaw (October 25, 2012): 31 people attended and 24 filled out comment cards. 
Representative Wanda Brown attended, along with people who thought the proposed regulation 
would require them to buy a permit for each fish they snagged. People also wanted a public 
meeting where they could "speak their mind". 

People drove an average of 23 miles to attend (2-50 miles) 

95% were male 

29 



They have been snagging an average of 35 years (1-60 years) 

They average 10 trips per year (1-45 trips) 

10 people snag both LOZ and Truman; 8 just LOZ; 5 just Truman; 1 LOZ, Truman 

and Table Rock and 1 did not snag the reservoirs; 2 snagged the Grand River of 

Truman 

Missouri River: 1 Grand and Moreau rivers and 1 Chariton and Lamine 

Mississippi River: 1 Meramec River 

Other rivers: None listed 

Favorite Location: 2 Warsaw (LOZ) and Osceola (Truman); 3 Truman Lake with one 

mentioning Red Rock; 3 Warsaw (LOZ); 6 LOZ; 1 Upper Osage; 2 Truman and LOZ 

23 people did not fall snag and 1 did 

Themes that were heard: 

1 . Several people mentioned they thought they would be required to buy permits for each 
paddlefish that had been snagged 

2. People understood the need for stocking to maintain the fishery. One gentleman at 
Warsaw said that if we took out Truman Dam we wouldn't need to stock 

3. Some questions included stocking in the big rivers 

4. People were not happy about another "tax" for the cost of the permit 

5. The Telecheck system is another way for Protection to hassle snaggers 

Comments: 

1 . Stock more fish in LOZ 

2. We do need to monitor paddlefish NO's & size. Need to keep stocking in both reservoirs 

3. I catch more fish than any one person. I think 1 fish per day and raise the size 

4. We haven't snagged for a couple of years. The last 2 years we snagged I processed the 
meat like always and it was so strong and tough we threw most of it away. I don't know 
why-if the water is not kept moving or just too many houses with septic tanks or what. 
Hope it clears up. We like to snag 

5. No comments at this time. I came to this meeting to get information 

6. Length limit to 36". Longer season 2 weeks long 

7. Try to get snaggers to use other equipment to bring spoonbill in boat rather than a gaff for 
small fish example (a Hog noose) works great 

8. You never see a game warden or they could report on it 

9. Good idea to have a permit. Will give a good base to determine the number of snaggers. 
I have run creel and am concerned with the larger number of fish harvested and the lack 
of disregard for the possession limits-also it seems the quality of the meat has declined as 
the taste. Has not been as it was several years ago 

10. As a business owner on the Lake of the Ozarks-(Marina)-I can tell you that in these tough 
times people are up in arms over this proposal. I have been told it's just another way of 
taxing us, and it just isn't right. We continue to see licensees go up and less opportunities 
for sportsmen. So far the many folks I came to represent I will tell you we strongly 
disagree with this new fee! ! (He did leave an address and phone number if we would like 
to discuss further) 

1 1 . 1 looks to me every year they are going to add money to are license 
12. 1 feel like to charge a fee for this sport would be unfair. We help conservation all the 
time, and another charge is just unthinkable. With gas prices and snagging equipment 
and everything else it cost to snag and many times go home empty handed. Don't punish 
us for something we love to do 

13. We don't need to buy yet another tag to fish. If you want to know what is being taken 
home just ask. Open up the Telecheck, so we can let you all know, where and what size. 

14. It looks to me that they are going money us to death 

30 



15. The cost of snagging permit 

16. 1 do not thank it would be not be right to have a feel for people to have to pay. We pay 
for it in tax 

Cape Girardeau (October 29, 2012): people 

Busch Conservation Area (October 30, 2012): people 



31 



Appendix 8 
On-line Paddlefish Comment Page 

Paddlefish Comments 

We're considering a low-cost snagging permit and Telecheck system to better 
track paddlefish harvest info, and we'll be collecting snagger input on this idea during 
201 2. Please give us your comments. Your input will help us improve our stocking 
program, popular fisheries and our paddlefish management program. Thanks! 



Your Information: 
Your Name:* 
Your Email:* 
Your Organization: 
Your Address: 
Your City: 
Your State:* 
Your ZIP Code:* 

Your Comment:* 



Stay in touch: 

□ Yes, send me emails with news about paddlefish and proposed paddlefish regulations 

Submit 

-'Required field 



32 



Appendix 9 



Paddlefish On-line Comments 




Out of State Comments 
Iowa - 3 
Kansas - 2 
Illinois- 1 



33 



Appendix 10 

Proposed Regulation Comments - On-line, Phone and e-mail 

On 1 1 April 2012 the Paddlefish Comment page On-line was launched to allow snaggers to share 
their comments and suggestions on the proposed regulation change. The initial comment period 
ended on 24 December 2012. There have been 202 comments; we received comments from 57 
of the 1 14 counties (Appendix 9) and six (6) from out of state (Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois). Of 
the people commenting 150 indicated that yes they wanted to stay in touch and receive future e- 
mails and news about paddlefish and the proposed regulations. In addition, we have received an 
additional 32 comments by phone and e-mail. Overall, there has been support for the 
regulations. Comments are summarized below and as submitted (Appendix 11), however names 
have been deleted. If the proposed regulations are approved by the Conservation Commission, 
there will be an opportunity for additional public comments. Common themes heard during the 
initial comment period: 

Support for proposed regulation 

Cost - concern about increase cost for another permit 

Permit - keep the process simple 

Against tagging harvested fish 

Law enforcement & enforcement issues 

Telecheck - support and issues 

Concerns and suggestions 

Misc. comments 



Summary of Comments: 

On-Line Comments - as of 24 December 2012 

- Support 

o Support anyway to improve the fishery 

o Snagging isn't the same, this would help improve it 

o Fund an increase in stocked fish 

o Fund paddlefish research 

o Snagging has been steadily declining, all for anything to bring it back to how it 

used to be 
o Don't like idea of buying a permit, if it helps paddlefishing then ok 
o Need to save the sport for new generations 
o I'm in favor of it, you're doing a good job 
o We appreciate what you do to manage paddlefish 
o If it truly is for the good of the fishery 
o Great idea 
o As long as limits stay the same 

- Cost 

o Should be free 

o Low cost - $1, $3-5, $5-7, less than $5, less than $15, same as fishing permit 
($12), similar to Trout ($7) or Migratory bird ($6) 

34 



o Too expensive already 

o Pay enough taxes 

o MDC has enough revenue, just doing it for the money 

o MDC is wasteful, need to better manage funds not create new source of revenue 

o Paddlefish are fine, this is just a way to get more money 

o Use money from another project, don't charge us 

o If you need more money, find another way 

o Bad economy, can't afford more money 

o Consider seniors and low income people when considering permit fees 

o If we have to pay, we'll quit snagging 

o Dams caused this problem, we shouldn't have to pay, COE should be the one that 
pays 

o Ok if money goes towards paddlefish and stocking program 

o Money will just go to the state fund, not to paddlefish 

o Hard to get new people to try snagging if have to pay extra 

o Will turn off the casual snaggers 

o You don't charge for other species why paddlefish 

o Low cost is unlikely to stay low for long 

o Would hurt out of state snaggers, Increase cost out of state snaggers won't come 
Permit 

o Permit process should be simple 

o Add line to fishing permit so won't have to carry 2 permits 

o What about the boat driver, shouldn't be required if just driving the boat 

o One permit for entire season 

o Required of everyone - all ages (same for everyone) 

o Lifetime permit holders should be exempt 

o Put a term limit on the permit - only for say 5-years 

o What next permit for each species 

o Fishing license is enough 

o Shouldn't need a special tag/permit to snag 

o Why can't just use fishing license to Telecheck 
Against Tagging Fish 

o No tagging, it will be hard to tag wet fish, just let us write confirmation numbers 
down 

o Issue limited number tags per person 

o How do I get enough tags 

o Don't like idea of cost per fish, Against cost per fish 

o Hope it doesn't limit me to the areas I can snag 

o Need to get all tags for one low cost 

Law Enforcement & Enforcement Issues 

o Need more enforcement on the water 

o Writing tickets would provide revenue 

o We never see any Agents 



35 



o Another way to write/issue more tickets, When check more than 4 (possession 

limit) 
o Just a way to increase number of tickets/violations 
o No more regulations 
o Will create more illegal activity 
o Over fishing/harvest 

I A lot of people are over their possession limit (4), see people get limits for 
several days 
o Harvesting a lot of small fish (sublegal) 
Telecheck - Support & Issues 

o Telecheck is a good idea 

o Support Telecheck, No to permit 

o Telecheck ok, however, don't want to have to weigh and measure all fish 

o Don't think you'll get reliable data 

o What about fish you don't keep 

o Need to report small fish that are released too 

o Will only work for good honest anglers, violators won't check their fish 

o Don't want to call in after a long day of snagging 

o Make timely harvest reports available like deer and turkey, use information to 

improve the snagging report 
o Telecheck will cause more problems- more poaching and selling of roe/eggs 
o People violating won't "check" their fish 
o Poor cell service on lakes & rivers, Telecheck will be hard 
o Poor internet service 
Concerns & Suggestions 

o Seeing an increase in number of snaggers and number fish harvested 

o Concerned harvest will exceed number of fish stocked 

o Noticed decrease in catch/harvest over past several years 

o Not as good as it was 5-10 years ago 

o 1993 & 1995 devastated the paddlefish and it's never fully recovered 

o There has been an increase in snagging 

o There are more snaggers than fish 

o Paddlefish numbers have been decreasing 

o Not seeing as many snaggers 

o Increase recruitment in naturally reproducing populations 

o Increase length limit 

o 36-inches on reservoirs, 40-inches, 40-inches statewide, 30-inches on tribs of MS 

and MO rivers 
o Same length limit on rivers as bordering states 
o Reduce daily limit - 1 fish/day 
o Set season limit 

I 4 fish/season, 6 fish, 10 fish, 2-4 fish per permit, 2 fish/week 
I Locals are taking too many fish 

36 



o Limits are too generous 

o Shorten season to 30-days 

o Change to fall season to reduce pressure on paddlefish 

o Longer season 

o Ban the use of gaffs 

o Use barb-less hooks 

o Check station at ramp or bait shop 

o Collect information at boat ramps 

o On the busy weekends 

o Have Agents check fish at ramps 

o Create a survey /questionnaire 

I End of season questionnaire/survey - like migratory birds 

[ Log book - record data during the season and submit it 

[ First create a form to get info if it doesn't work then permit & Telecheck 

[ Report card like those used at Conservation Areas 

I Self -report on-line or mobile app 

[ Volunteer check in on Web, call in 
o System like Oklahoma 

[ Sell roe to make money 

[ Clean our fish 
o Bragging board 

o Ask questions when buying a permit 
o Creel survey & helicopter survey like you used to have 
o Tag the fish and pay snaggers who turn in the tags 
o When buy fishing license ask people if they will be snagging to learn number of 

snaggers 
o Create special fee ($25) allow bank snagging from ramp below Bagnell Dam, 

hard to snag w/out boat & get permission to bank snag 
o Party permit/tag and report catch for those fishing in the party each day 



37 



- Misc. 

o It's fine the way it is, don't change it 
o Want to be able to legally sell roe/caviar 
o Need more info before I can comment 
o MDC needs to buy more river accesses 
o Stock more fish in Table Rock 

o Increase in Asian carp on MO & MS rivers have affected quality and quantity of 
paddlefish, Asian carp are taking over 

Phone and e-mail Comments - as of 31 December 2012: 

- Support 

o Hope the permit and Telecheck are established - understand and need the 

information 
o I fully support permit and Telecheck 
o Agree - long over due 
o Enjoy the sport, hope it continues to get better 

- Cost 

o Objects to purchasing special tag, already costs a lot to snag 

o Why are you charging for information 

o Hardship on out of state snaggers 

o Dams created need to stock, people shouldn't have to pay, UE should pay 

- Permit 

o Will lifetime permit holders need to buy the permit 

- Law Enforcement & Enforcement Issues 

o Those keeping small fish or too many won't report their catch 

- Telecheck - Support & Issues 

o Telecheck ok, why can't use Conservation number or fishing permit number 

to call in 
o Support Telecheck, No to permit 

- Misc. 

o Commercial Anglers should be included - they too need permit and Telecheck 

their catch, they harvest a lot of fish in their nets 
o Open-house forums 

[ Want forums closer to them (Brookfield, Joplin) 

[ Start later, hard to make it by 5pm 
o Ban the use of gaffs - gaffing is killing fish 



38 



Appendix 11 
On-line comments as submitted; names have been deleted from the table. 



It seems to me as a snagger for the last twenty years that the snagging has improved greatly . I would not be opposed to a 
permit or telecheck as long as the permit and telecheck is free. The fisherie is not suffering in my opinon and no fee should be 
charged to enjoy this sport other than the annual fishing license requirement. 



System is working fine the way it is. Not broke, dont fix it! 



I have no problem using telecheck. You will most likely get some pushback I have no problem using telecheck. You will most 
likely get some pushback from the older fisherman. Me personally its just a call from my cell phone. I don't think you should 
charge more than $1 for the permit because a lot of people will be mad that you now charge other than the cost of the fishing 
permit. It also needs to be a special note or add on note to your current fishing license (that way forget one of your licenses 
when driving from Mexico Mo to lake of the ozarks as I do). Looking at the permit if it was just a line item below the cost. So 
you would have "Residential Small Game Hunt & Fish" (my license) $17.00, next line "Residential Paddlefish Snagging" $1.00. 
Total at bottom $18.00. I am not sure how you would do the location. Most of us have no idea what county we are in when 
we snag. You can also go into different counties when your on the water and not know. Maybe by water body. Do not go to 
tags that will be a complete mess. Just have people write the confirmation numbers down and keep the numbers as the tag 
on a piece of paper. A side note. I think you should up the length limit for lake of the ozarks to 36 inches. 34 is a vary 
random number. I've seen several people over the years think its 32. Make it 36 so we can just have a 2 ft rule in the rivers 
and 3 ft in the lakes. It really will not make a big difference and its easier to remember. I just wish you had one of these for 
Turkey Season. I have a lot of comments about that. 



A permit system would be a good idea to start with as long as the permits are not very expensive and easily purchased. I got 
my first spoonbill in 6 years and it was a massive 70 lb female. Sharing information on harvests with the state would be a 
good idea as well to help improve the snagging reports and ensure enough fish are stocked and that the population is healthy. 
Just keep in mind most of us snaggers can bairly afford to go as it is so charging a lot of money for tags wouldn't be a good 
idea. And in my opinion if you over purchase tags don't penalize for it by limiting future snagging limits. 



I would not be opposed to this under the following conditions. The permit was cheap and the snagging harvest reports were 
available real time like they are for deer and turkey. This way snaggers could have a better idea of how snagging has been 
before making the drive to the lake. I do have concerns about how it would look for people you have checked more then the 
possession limit (4) for paddlefish for the season. Is that going to put a bulls eye on them even though they could have given 
away some of the previous fish? 



You are on the right track since I beleive more strict regulations are needed. I believe over fishing is a concern in areas along 
with the harvesting of sublegal fish. I don't have answer but am very supportive of your asking which leads me to believe 
there is concern. Telecheck may work but will not regulate the harvesting of sub legal fish. I beleive you could implement a 
certain amount of tags per fisherman to purchase. For example you could buy five tags for a certain price. Or only allocate a 
maximum limit per person to purchase yearly. I routinely see the same people (non guides) harvesting fish. It makes me 
wonder what people are doing with such a large amount of meat and eggs, bottom line is we can regulate and try to set laws 
but we need the personnel to enforce these regulations. I snag quite a bit and never see agents working the rivers. I will 
occassionaly see them at the ramps but they are needed in the field. These fish are not like crappie which prolificly reproduce 
and need protected. 



With out more details on how the system will work, I wont comment on it, but I am in support of any way of improving the 
fisheries 



I enjoy snagging with my family and friends. However there is so much luck involved in snagging that if I had to buy a Tag or 
extra permit, then I probably would not snag because I don't bring home very many fish. I only snag a couple of days a year 
and it would not be worth it. I would bet there are many more like myself. So I would ask you, who would benefit from these 
regulations? 



39 



OMG Another tag???? I would support a pittance (3-5 dollars, NO MORE!!) and a end of year questionnaire like migratory bird 
does. I am still pissed off about the snow goose extra tag. TELECHECK??? here we go. Another way to write tickets?? When 
do I call in? What if I don't weigh it? What if I stop at the gas station to show it off before I get home to call it in? We are 
regulation weary. Is this really necessary to maintain or improve the fishery? or another bureaucratic self licking ice cream 
cone? This year I have introduced three grown adults to snagging, and I could tell you, if the regulations get any more 

cumbersome, we will lose, not gain. Noww lets talk about possessing, consuming, gifting, MARKETING ....roe. Do I have 

your attention??? I would jump thru flaming hoops to legally and ethically possess, process, SELL legally taken roe. I know, a 
whole new ball of wax. Look at Oklahoma. Now imagine instead a regulated sport fishery where the sale of roe was taxed 
instead of monopolized, and you had to pay to play, even staying in a very carefully regulated marketplace. Now I will pay, 
call, punch ballots, whatever. Tag me out to snag and make me call in only by water body, county, and sex. maybe 
approximate weight or length. Now, tag me again (reasonable, you hear? single digit dollar amounts), and let me sell roe thru 
a cornered market (thru you bureaucrats). Now we gettin somewhere, yes yes. 

I think there are less restrictive ways to gather information. Please don't require a permit and checkin system. This would 
simply cost mdc more money and people don't want more regulations. Perhaps you could create a " Bragging Board" for the 
website where people could voluntarily post info and pics about their fish. This could give you more of the info you need and 
also be a great added resource for the snagging report that people could use to figure out where the fish are. But the last 
thing we want are more hoops to jump through. Thanks 

I would support a "telecheck" style system for reporting harvested paddlefish... however,l would NOT like being required to 
purchase an additional permit (if there is an additional fee for a paddlefish permit)! As a boat owner, I primarily drive while 
the rest of the boaters snag, and I don't mind buying the fishing licence because I will use it the rest of the year. Since we are 
required to buy the fishing licence even to drive the boat (not snagging) then I would assume the same would be true 
regarding the permit, which depending on the cost (if there is one) may ultimately make it cost prohibitive for me to take 
people out snagging in my boat, thus, less people being able to utilize the resources. I also don't see how requiring a permit 
will facilitate the department being able "to get better harvest data"(quoted from the article)when a permit has no bearing 
on the number/size/location caught/sex/etc. of the fish being harvested. The only applicable data that would provide would 
just be the number of people who get permits. ..no bearing on harvest. 

I don't think we need yet another permit we have to purchase. Instead you need to do a better job of enforcement. There 
have been at least 3 evenings we have been out snagging between Turkey creek and Cole Camp creek and have seen several 
boats running with no lights on until you get right up on them. They have been catching large amounts of paddlefish, and I 
am not sure but I think the gut rippers who kill fish for eggs have returned. I have seen at least half a dozen nice legal sized 
fish floating downstream, I didn't check to see if they were cut open but I would bet they were as who would throw a legal 
paddlefish back? I reported strange things going on out there on the lake last year, but nothing was done. This is my last 
attempt to help the fisheries by letting you know whats going on. To penalize all snaggers by adding another permit and 
check system is WRONG!!! I think you should get the illegal activity under control and make your extra money for research 
through fines. One weekend of enforcement would net you way more money than another permit and would add no extra 
paperwork to the system. P.S. When I asked last year if nets were being used in Lake of the Ozarks I was told no. I watched a 
program on National Geographic channel and they showed netting paddlefish on LOZ for research. Funny I can't get a straight 
answer when I am trying to help the paddlefish fishery. 

I agree snaggin isn't the same and i believe this would be a great change to help better the population in the future. 

I agree with going with the telecheck system. And also think that there should be a limit on how many permits one person can 
purchase per year and if you catch them just to catch them dont let them hang on the side of your boat all day then turn 
them loose. 



40 



I don't believe that making people buy another tag to snag paddlefish is going to help you any at all. Even with the telecheck 
system. The reason I say this is my husband and nephew love to snag and do so on an almost daily basis. The only time we 
have ever been checked has been after I called and reported someone keeping to small of fish and too many fish. We see this 
occurring a lot where we snag. I quit calling because I don't see where it really makes any difference when that is the only 
time anyone comes out and checks to see how many and what size of fish people are keeping. Just a couple of days ago we 
saw one boat with two people in it and four fish tired to the boat, two on each side and both men where still snagging on that 
same day there was a boat with 4 men in it that kept going over the same area snagging large catfish and putting them in 
their live well. I understand that you can't have agents everywhere at all times but I also know that years ago we used to get 
checked a few times every year and this did not bother us at all. As a matter of fact I thought it was rather nice that someone 
cared enough to check and make sure everyone was on the up and up. Most real sportsmen and women don't mind being 
checked at all as long as the person is polite about it, because they love their sport and love being able to do it and hate 
seeing people abuse it and take advantage as it hurts the whole sport. I really believe that if you sent someone out to check 
they would make enough money in tickets and fines to pay their wages and more, and you would get the information that 
you are seeking and it would finally slow down if not put a stop to all this illegal snagging. We usually go out in late evening 
and sometimes stay out very late. There have been several times we have seen boats out without lights well after dark, 
running with a trolling motor as to not make noise would be my only guess as a lot of time you really need your motor to get 
back upstream. They run without lights until we get close to them and then turn their lights on. This is a very surprising thing 
sometimes as you don't know there is a boat there until you are close to it. It really makes me wonder why they are not 
running with their lights on as their boats do have lights. Makes one think they must be doing something wrong or they 
would have their lights on, we sure have ours on. Anyway this is why I don't think your Telecheck system will give you proper 
information because I don't believe the people out there breaking the laws are going to call you and tell you they did. I would 
love to see someone out there taking information, checking the fish and giving out tickets and fines for those who are 
breaking the laws. I really believe this would be your best bet. Oh and we snag on Lake of the Ozarks below the old oar 
house in what they call the dome hole, maybe you can have someone come out and check out what is going on I would be 
more than happy to have them check our license and fish if we have any. I also think that buying a fishing licenses to catch 
fish should be more than enough, I don't believe you should make people buy special tags to snag as this is a type of fishing. 
Thanks 

I dont like the Idea of permits or tele-check, Its just another way of getting or money and for the commision to write tickets, 
the commision is doing the same thing that it done with deer and trying to turn our sport into a cash cow. We spend enough 
already to enjoy our sport and we dont need you making it worse. If you will notice alot of your snaggers are lower income 
people who can barely afford to buy gas for their old boat anyway. Thank you 
this permit-how much and the telecheck is ok 

We appreciate that Miami, Ok track the spoonbill & sell the harvested eggs to maintain the costs through their processing 
plant. Because they track the spoonbill activity & water levels, I can call & get a snagging report. This information helps me 
plan my trip & not miss out on snagging season. 

I think a season limit would be a good idea. I know people catch dozens of these fish a year and end up with a freezer full of 
meat that ends up going to waste. Maybe a limit of 4 fish a year would be good idea. ...that's plenty of meat for a year's 
worth of fish fry dinners. 

I dont think it is a bad idea, but are the tags going to be free since you have to buy a fishing license? I think they should be. It 
would help keep track of how many are caught a year as well. 

I have been snagging in Truman Lake for several years. I have noticed a big decrease in catch over the past 4-5 years. I think 
the telecheck system is a great idea, but would also suggest a limit per person, per season. Being a Colorado native, and 
moving here 16 years ago, I must say I have been very impressed with the efforts of the Missouri Department of 
Conservation. Thank-you, and keep up the good work! 

Would the permitt be valid all season or everytime i went snagging i would have to buy another permitt. If tht is the case I am 
against it. I would like to see a plan like they have in Oklahoma. At the boat ramps the agents clean and vaccuum seal the fish. 
If there is any roe in the females they keep it to grow for future stockings or sell it to other states wanting to start spoonbill. 

I would not be against a snagging permit or telecheck system for reporting catches of paddlefish if the cost of the permit is 
not too high, say under 15.00. In return for this I would hope that MDC would stock more paddle fish. You are doing an 
amazing job now with the stocking program and adding a permit fee should only make it better. 

Surveys and creel census are needed to help keep track of paddlefish harvest agreed. But a snagging permit is just another 
money grab in a time its getting harder to afford to go fishing, hunting, or other recreational activities anymore. Please 
consider finding another alternative. Working familes bugets are stretched to the limit at this time. 

I would like to see a spoonbill tag if the money was used for stocking or researching spoonbill. We already have turkey, deer, 
and trout tags. 

41 



I can understand wanting to track spoonbill. What I don't understand is adding cost to fishing. Any time the conservation 
department gets involved the cost goes up. You already get 1/8 percent tax. With today's mobile phone system why not just 
require a report of each fish and have a number showing you called it in. Leave off the permit cost. It won't be long before 
fishing is a rich mans sport. Keep fishing for everyone. 

In my opinion, we already have a tough enough system to remember and keep up with. If we have to tag and telecheck 
spoonbill, I can see a lot of people not pursuing them, I fish the Osage river and the Lake of the Ozarks for spoonbill and have 
had great luck, but if it gets to where I have to tag and check in each fish I catch, I most likely won't fish for them anymore due 
to the increased cost. 

im not to exceited about a snagging permit, there is one for trout already, what next permits for bass and crappie? a fishing 
permit should be all you need to fish, and yes i think we in missouri have a great fishery and i support everything you do to 
make it that way. but with me living in kansas city and driving to Warsaw thats seventy-five dollars for a round trip, as in years 
past ive gone 4 or 5 times a season without a spoonbill, i know its the luck of the draw, but with other fees it might limit how 
many times i go a year, our fishing permits are very reasonable in price, if you feel more money is needed for stocking and 
research would not a small increase for all fishermen,for all fish be best? i aggree to checking in harvest info if it would be 
made simple for us not to tech savy anglers, as it appears to me theres not to many spoonbill in the lakes i go to. keep up the 
good work 

We have snagged for several years and try to keep length and weight measurements on the fish we harvest. Having a way to 

quickly input this info on the MDC site would be helpful. Hopefully most of those snagging would be able to do the same. I am 

not quite sure what the paddlefish permit would involve. 

I would prefer that we do not go to a telecheck. With that every legal fish I catch I measure and wiegh. I would volunteer all 

that information if there were a web site to check it in at. It would also be easy for me to gps the location where it was 

caught. 

bull your just realizing there are alot of snaggers your hurtin for money and this is away of makin a few bucks, you want to 
do a study go to the boat ramps and take a census like you did with the goose season years ago. i believe 1993 and 1995 
devistated the spoonbill and we have never fully recoverd. but damit were taxed a permited to death, what this will end 
up doin is pissin off alot of people youll loose snaggers. look at the snow goose regulation you added a tag for that and 
theres a federal order on them as of that i wouldnt buy that tag and help with the order for nothing thanks for that 

I know Missouri spends a lot of money keeping up the paddlefish population. This is not the fault of the snaggers. It is 
because you made a decision to allow all these dams. I didn't have a say in these dams on the osage but I made my young 
voice heard by collecting signatures on petitions when the army corp tried to dam the Meramec . The people who benefited 
from the loss of the original paddlefish habitat are Ameren UE and some real estate speculators. Please don't shift the cost 
burden of these projects to me. 

I am opposed to a snagging permit; the fishing license is enough. I think that if a voluntary survey was offered to all 
purchasers of fishing permits, most would be willing to fill them out and send them in. ...as I did last year. It would be even 
easier if it was available online. I am all for better management of paddlefish...l think Missouri is already the best in this 
regard, but I am against additional permit requirements and government red tape. 

First off I want to say thank you for the work that the Department does in keeping the paddlefish hatchery alive. With people 
like Bruce and Trish involved, I feel the paddlefish hatchery is in good hands. I fully support anything that would improve the 
paddlefish outlook and increase the size and creel limits. If that means a telecheck system then that is what we will do. I am 
not in favor of more regulations, reduced limits, reduced size limits. I feel that we can always raise and stock more fish, but it 
takes ten years to see those benefits. Will the snagging permit be by individual persons? How much will it cost? Is there a 
season limit? Will the creel limit stay the same? Will it work like a king salmon permit in AK where you have a five fish limit 
for the season? If I take people snagging every weekend will it limit the amount I can fish? What kind of time frame will you 
have to report the catch; immediately, daily, weekly? Do you get bonus points (more fish) if you participate? Will the 
telecheck be for any paddlefish taken or just those on the three bodies of water that have the 34" limit? If you have more 
information I would be more than willing to add additional comments. Overall I am in support of anything that will make the 
paddlefish more successful. It is a spring ritual for our family. 

Tags and call-in reports are a nuisance that I very much hope can be avoided. I would rather see the daily limit lowered to 
one fish per day than have special tags and call-in harvest reports. Keep things as simple as you can. Thanks for providing the 
excellent and unique fishery. Keep up the excellent work. 

I would support this system as long as the number of permits available to non-residents is not limited. And the cost for the 
permit is reasonable. Five to seven dollars. What type of info would you expect to be reported? Male, Female? Length? If 
this is the case, a method to record some or all the info at the time of the catch would be helpful. 



42 



You're kidding, right! A permit for paddlefish, how ridiculous is this? I'm sorry you are a government agency, it only makes 
sense to hit us with another tax. I strongly support the MDC, you do an excellent job or managing our states wildlife and 
provide excellent public hunting a fishing conservation area's for those of us who don't live on lakes and/or private hunting 
lands. But to charge for a special permit for paddle fish you're going overboard with more "government". Set up check 
stations or proceed with the telecheck program but leave our wallets along. 

It makes me no difference as I don't keep very many paddlefish personally. I do enjoy catching them and throw back most of 
the fish that I land. 

I would have not issue with telechecking paddlefish. However, I would hope the paddlefish permit would not be an extra cost 
for residents. I spend a LOT of money as a MO resident on hunting and fishing licenses as it is. Life is getting tougher to make 
enjoying the outdoors possible as it is now. 

I am not in support of having a tag for telecheck for paddlefish. The current system that is in place by having a Conservation 
Agent check fish at ramps and on water is working. 

Pemit are you kidding! You know where you can stick your Permit? If it comes to a Permit me and my Family will not be 
Snagging again. 

I think the snagging permit and telecheck system is a good idea, besides helping you with the information you need it might 
also stop people from keeping more than there limit. I also think it would be a good idea to put a season limit on the number 
offish you are allowed to take such as Kansas does [ 6 fish ]. 

We are seeing more fisherman each year, but are still harvesting plenty of fish. I'm all for good management but I don't like 
the idea of having to buy a permit for snagging. I already spend enough on hunting and fishing. I feel Mdc does a good job 
because of the tax money they receive. Let's keep it that way. Good day 

I think the MO Conservation Dept. gets enough money from the sales tax, fishing and hunting license, deer and turkey tags, 
trapping permits that charge. If you will go out on Lake of the Ozarks between the 63 and the 74 mile marker you can gain 
revenue by writing citations for many fish that are too small tied to boats or this afternoon we saw a pontoon with 4 people 
with lines in the water still fishing and atleast 6 or 7 fish on the boat some of which seemed to be short. This is a fairly 
common sight up there I have never been checked while snagging nor have I ever seen any one get checked. I would not 
mind being checked and don't think most most law abiding snaggers would. I think if you have us buy tags and call fish 
lengths in it is going to be an inconvenience and unneccessary expense to be added on to our fishing trips the cost line sinkers 
hooks and fuel already make it exspensive enough. Those people who are keeping fish that are too short or continue to fish 
after they are limited out will continue to until you start making a presence seen by writing some citations and they probably 
will not call their catch in as for calling fish in I dont know if you have tried calling with a cell phone but signals are very poor 
on the lake in most locations. I doubt that I or my friends will continue to go snagging if you require us to buy another tag for 
this these fish are too hard to come by and to go add this expense and inconvenience to it I can buy fish at the grocery store 
and hang out with friends some other way a whole lot cheaper you need to get a handle on the people breaking the law 
before you try to make new ones you can also contact the private boat ramp owners they tend to have a fairly good idea of 
what have been caught for your data. I also would want to know what you are doing with the data you would collect with this 
tag and telecheck system and the additional money that would be collected it seems you want to preserve not conserve. I am 
a state worker also and I have not seen a raise for several years either I hope this is not for salary increases like the Highway 
Department did with their gas tax some years ago. Thank you for showing an interest and not just doing this but I think you 
need to make this survey better known about some one at work just happened to find it but most people I have talked to 
haven't heard about it and feel a similar way. Feel free to contact me 

I wouldn't have a problem of tagging spoonbill that I catch; however, the telecheck system might not work very well because 
it's hard to get reception out on the lake where we snag. We also like to cut our fish up quickly after catching them to keep 
the meat fresh so the system will have to be simple as to not allow fish to spoil. 

I think the idea of having an affordable snagging permit, no more than $5, would be an excellent idea to track how many 
anglers are actually using the fishery in Missouri. Especially how many out of state anglers are coming in to do so! Don't get 
em wrong, I think it is great that we are attracting out of state anglers for paddlefishing, and the permit should not cost more 
for them. I would also support a telecheck system for paddlefish, and it would make it much easier to put out good fishing 
reports of you had individuals report approximate mile-marker they harvest fish at as well! 

I have been snagging for 40+ years. Although I haven't in 2years having to get another permit on the chance I might want to 
go ,is not what I'd like. Snagging &cleaning is hard enough without having to pay more to harvest one. Here in Warsaw 
snagging is big business and with the economy the way it is,l wouldn't think it would be good to hurt it further. Why not 
try a voluntary log like you use with the bowhunters? Keep up the good work, thanks 

The permit idea would be ok, but I don't think there should be a charge. I don't snag, but I drive the boat for the kids. I would 
hate to have to pay extra to drive the boat. 

43 



I am not in favor of Snagging Permits or the Tele Check system. In years past, there was a consevation agent that cruised the 
lake and surveyed fishermen about there catches. What happened to them? I will do whatever the MDC feels is best for the 
sport. 

I support a special permit and the use of telecheck. Not only will this enable better data collection, but also may/should fund 
further research on Paddlefish (such is being done in Oklahoma). 

I am on the fence about this. One good thing that it would do would bring more money in the state for the conservation. 
Another good thing would to be able to regulate fisherman in and out of the state. One of the bad things is if anyone outside 
of the state wants to fish they will probably say "forget it" if they have to pay a fee. This would hurt the state as a whole 
being that this is good money coming in. Not sure if I like it or not, sorry 

I'm all for it as long as their is not a fee attached I have always done what I can to help improve any speices but please no 
more fee's other than a regular fishing permit. I will be glad to provide any data that I can. I always have. Thank's 

i do'nt think we need a special tag for spoonbill, we already have a fishing permit, that's just something else we have to buy 
and keepjust like dove tags. we already spend enough on tackle and gas. and what about the out of staterers?they spend 
quite abit as it is. if you want tele checks done thats fine put free check sheets at vendor stores and it will the responsability 
of the fishermen to make they carry it.they can fill out information and telecheck the info so they can get a number to put on 
the check sheet to prove they called. 

I think it is a great idea!!! I see and hear of way too many people that get their limits over two or more days and keep 
snagging. Some people I hear about take six or more in a season(sorry I don't have names, this comes second hand). This 
system would really keep those people from taking more than their share and makes it harder for people like myself to get a 

big fish!!! 

Although I'm new to snaggin I have no issue with the snagging permit & telechecking. There has to be a way to track the 
harvest of these fish. I'm sure there will be negative thoughts on this idea but things change for the better. 

There has been quite a drop off of the number of people I have seen on Lake Ozarks. We snag from the 70 to 85 MM. I am 
sure high gas prices have alot to do with this. With the bad econamy the last thing fisherman need is another permit to buy. 
The coservation dept. used to fly over the lake and have agents in boats to do surveys. If we have to call in our catch every 
day we catch fish, it seems the dept. is losing contact with the average fisherman. Like the way of the Deer check stations. 
Matbe you can send survey forms to select fishermen to complete and send in after the season. I think adding the cost of 
another permit will be detramental to what you are trying to do. 

i think it would be a good idea, anything to try and help the fishery 

there should be a perment like deer and turkey . We don't know were they are being caught. My family goes to Black river 

below clearwater and upto fenton on the river. 

Just trying to stay up to date on new laws that may come about, untill i understand more about how the system your trying to 
put in place I don't have an opinion as of yet. how ever, maybe something like our next door neighbor state Ok. and let the 
season go longer and use barbless hooks, I only say that because this years season sucked so bad on getting any fish. 

The idea of going to check system is a waste of resources in my opinion. It's just one more thing we have to carry with us qt all 
times. The best system in my opinion that worked for years was the fish checkers by boat or copter. Where did that money 
go? If Mo. starts more programs like this the next thing will be all the other species. Please don't waste our tax dollars on 
something like this if you want to make improvements to the sport put adhesive back on our transportation tags so they don't 
get tore up or drug off in the brush. Thanks 

I really don't want to have to buy another permit. Maybe could just have a site to report catch. 

ALL OF MY LIFE I'V BEEN HUNTING AND FISHING,! REMEMBER HAVING TO BY MY FIRST SMALL GAME HUNTING/FISHING 
PERMIT.EVERY YEAR IGO BUY THEMBECAUSE THATS A WAY OF LIFE. ON TOP OF THAT I HAVE TO PERCHASE A TURKEY TAG 
TWICE A YEAR ON TOP OF DEER TAGS.ALL A GOOD WAY TO FEED MY FAMILY AND TEACH THEM TO ONLY TAKE YOUR LIMETS 
THAT YOU CON CONSUME. I GOT INTO SNAGGING ABOUT 7 YEARS AGO AND REALLY ENJOY THE SPORT EVEN THOUGH IT 
ALOT OF WORK. I GUESS MY POINT IS WHO IN TODAY ECHONONIC CHUNCH CAN AFORD TO KEEP ON BUYING ALL THEASE 
TAGS???DONT GET ME WRONG BUT THERE HAS TO BE BETTER WAYS TO KEEP TRACK OF THESE FISH. MY BELIEF IS THAT BY 
HAVING TO BUY ANOTHER TAG FOR THIS SPORT IT WILL NOT ONLY HURT ALOT OF PEOPLE SNAGGING BUT THE YEAR 
MARINAS THAT THESE FOLKS VISIT EVERY YEAR TO BUY FUEL,FOOD,AND OTHER TACKLE.ALOT OF THESE HARD WORKING 
AMERICANS ARE TALKING ABOUT GIVING UP THIS SPORT BECAUSE THEY ARE FED UP WITH ALL THESE PERMITS.WHERE DOES 
IT END???? 

just interest in new regulations 



44 



I do not want to purchase or be required to carry another permit for spoonbill snagging. I would not be opposed to calling in 
the fish I have caught; however, depending on the amount of information you would require, I may also be opposed as I do 
not want to weigh and measure every fish I catch. 

I would support the the telecheck system or a purchasing a tag like turkey and deer season. The banning of gaff hooks should 
also be addressed by the Conservation Dept. 

I believe that just like everything else, snagging cost a lot of money and you are lucky if you get even 1 spoonbill during the 
whole season. And, you spend so much money on getting to the river and food and hotel rooms to go snagging and then you 
really don't have the money to pay for another tag and when you are on the river you don't have any phone signal so you 
would have to drive at least 30 min to have phone service. I think we have too much telecheck going on as it is are we going 
to have to start telechecking rabbit and squirls? I think it is rediculas that we have to telecheck anything. I think it is taking 
away from the hunt what happened to go old check in stations. That is where you at least got to show off your hunt. All of 
the people I have talked to said that if you start this that they will stop snagging all together. And that will hurt all of the 
marinas and everybody. 

I think telecheck would be a good idea. I think a lot of over harvest takes place. 

I can really see the need to check the spoonbill to monitor the number harvested. I don't agree with the idea of another 
tag,your fishing license could serve the same purpose. I've only snagged for the last eight years and I've seen a big increase in 
the sport. I do feel our state limit on spoonbill is extremely generous especially when a guide made a comment that he had 
caught 3000lbs of spoonbill this year. We had a excellent season with four spoons caught in our family. Looking toward to 
next year I Sincerely 

I am not real fond of the idea. I think it will be another way for the MO conservation to make money.. Whats next, checks on 
rabbits, squirrel, Catfish. It will go on and on. Plus how is the agents going to be regulated, i catch 2 fish a day till i have 4 in 
possession, that is the law. so the next week i have a fish fry and i am done to 2 fish, i go buy two more tags and fill those, i 
am still legal right., two weeks later i have agents at my door wanting to look in my freezer to see if i have 6 fish... Looks like 
more reason to control and make money. Which if the conservation would conserve some of there money this kind of thing 
would not be an issue.. I hunt and fish year round and love doing it i obey the law and do not think this is necessary, for the 

mount of money you spend on running this program 

this wouldnt work because of cell phone service. I know that several people that thier cell phones do not work in the area nor 

is this internet service. 

what is the cost of these tag??l have voiced my comment and would like to know alot more about the proposed regulation. 

thanks 

I would personally like a telecheck system, but I feel that most people would not bother to report data, especially for fish that 
didn't keep. I also don't think the reported size of caught fish would be reliable data. It would be nice for me at least, to be 
able to check a real-time web app that showed me how many fish had been caught at Lake of the Ozarks to determine if I 
should go snagging or not. Finally, I'd be OK with a snagging permit, however I typically only go snagging 1-2 times a year, so 
if the cost of the permit was even $10, I would likely reconsider whether it was worth it. Of course the ideal solution for 
fisherman would be to make the paddlefish permit a very inexpensive add-on for the fishing license, or perhaps even no-cost 
if you buy the hunt/fish combo license. 

While I understand the need to track and support the fishery for paddlefish, I am personally against the idea of a permit 
system that limits or costs per fish. I purchase a fishing license, and enjoy fishing for many species in the state. In order to go 
paddle fishing I drive 2 Vi hours each way and spend over $100 in gas each trip, not to mention the extreme cost in tackle it 
takes for this particular fish. On an average season I will go once or twice. I rarely keep the paddle fish I catch, usually 
returning them immediately to the water. I am there strictly for enjoyment. If I had to purchase a special permit just to catch 
and release paddlefish, I would probably no longer spend the money or time it takes to make the trip. If you want to track 
them, what about some kind of voluntary check system where you just call in your catch, how big, where, that sort of thing 
without having to issue special permits? 

I'M NOT WILD ABOUT ANOTHER LICENSE BUT I UNDERSTAND YOU NEED THE MONEY. I THINK THE TELECHECK IDEA IS BAD. I 
FISH LAKE OZARK AND AND HAVE NO PHONE SERVICE. I THINK MAYBE A LOGBOOK WOULD BE A BETTER IDEA. I CATCH AND 
RELEASE A LOT OF PADDLEFISH. WHAT WOULD YOUR REGS. LOOK LIKE? 

I would have no problem purchasing a snagging permit and reporting fish caught. I nornally snag in the Osage River and 
James River. 



45 



as in the war on drugs just say no to these tags unless you want to give them to us (yeah theres a joke) we all know what the 
MDC is trying to do here i dout you really care about the spoonbill population all you want to do is make you wallets a little 
fatter this is a fun sport that doesnt require tags thats stupid just curiouse how many perch crappie catfish are there have you 
thought about having us buy tags for those to hey you have my email addy respond id love to hear your silly reasons for this 
after you have already said the next couple years are going to be the best snagging in years come on id love to debate this 
subject with anyone on your staff 

I think the telecheck system would be a good tool to give biologist more data that could be used to improve and or maintain 
the paddlefish fishery. I would be more than willing to use the system and would be happy to contribute paddlefish research 
in this way. I could not be more opposed to a special stamp or permit to snag paddlefish. Every year my wife and I buy a 
small game hunting and fishing licsense, state and federal migratory stamps, two any deer tags and four or five antlerless 
tags, 2 spring turkey licsenses ( I just run the call and my wife shoots but I have to have the tag), and I usually purchase an out 
of state deer tag for my little sister. I have to say that enough is enough. The cost of getting out to enjoy our wildlife are 
continually going up, while my income isn't. A small increase here, another one there and pretty soon things are outta 
control and the common person is priced out of hutning and fishing. How much does it cost to add a species into the 
telecheck system? If data is truly lacking and funding is a real issue my suggestion would be to analyse budgets and identify 
areas that could be cut to provide for paddlefish research. Two years of walleye stocking would fund some paddlfish 
research, would 2 years of not stocking walleye hurt the walleye fishery to the point that it was no longer viable? I don't 
know the ins and outs of the MDC budget, I use walleye stocking just as an example. I would like to thank MDC for the 
current work that has gone into the paddlefish fishery, I enjoy it more than any other fishery and I am grateful for the hard 
work that goes into it. Thank you 

I am all for a permit program! Most of the fish seam to be harvested by a few anglers who go out and take 2 (or more illegally) 
everyday during the peak times. I understand the locals have an advantage and a right to do that but I think a permit would 
help spread it out a little. 

I belive that missouri sportsman and women spend enough money buying permits and paying boat lanching fees every year. 

I think that there will be less people going snagging if they have to buy an extra permit. The snagging hasn't been that good 
the past couple of years anyway because they are always messing with the water level and the current. Next you will want a 
permit to go catfishing and then another permit to go crappie fishing. Where will it all end? You are taking the fun out of the 
sport. Also, I think there will be more people snagging without a permit and just not reporting them 

If you make it to where you have to buy permits to snag, are you going to make everyone (all ages) buy a permit because my 
daughters (9 & 11) like to snag for spoonbill. They do not need fishing licenses right now. It may discourage people from 
trying to get others into it knowing that it is a pretty good chance that they might not snag anything even though they bought 
a permit. 

If you are wanting a better count of the fish taken a permit would be the way to go, however if it is going to be an added cost 
to a fishing expedition that is mostly luck anyway, I wouldn't like that idea at all! 

I do feel that there needs to be a way of tracking paddlefish better. I feel that if you tag the fish and offer a bounty that 
possibly more anglers would report the catch. I also feel that more patrolling of the waterways during the season and 
checking of boats more closely would deter dishonest anglers and they would to adhear to the regulations more closely. I am 
an avid snagger and want to continue the to enjoy the sport so what ever is decided I am all in with support. Thank You for 
the efforts that the Conservation Department put forth to ensure the sport and fish grow for everyone to enjoy in the future. 

I think it would be nice if we could call in on how many paddlefish that a snagger snags with the details about the fish (weight, 
length, sex ect.) I don't think we should have to buy tags or hunting permits to snag them. If you want our opinion then give 
us a number to call and report them. We don't have to have a tag to do that. We want to know more info about them also but 
its crazy to make us buy more tags for another season, thanks 

I think it will be a great idea to do maybe not charge a whole lot of the tag but maybe there wont be so many paddlefish 
taken and give a better opportunity to others to snag paddlefish just seems to me that paddlefish numbers are decreasing 
dramaticly over the past few years cause there is no control on how many people are taking each year or maybe make people 
pay one set amount for 4 tags or so and i think i would help out the MDC keep a better record on file of how many people 
catch each year and it would also help with managing the paddlefish population 



46 



This is just another way for the Department of Conservation to raise money and pretend like it is a needed permit just like the 
spring conservation permit for hunting snow geese. And of course it will get approved because you guys are the ones voting 
on it. It is just more and more stupid permits and fees and regulations. This is why there is more and more of a push in the 
rural areas to end the 1/8 of 1 percent tax the Department gets. The Department never gets enough and always wants more. 
The wildlife code needs to get simpler not more complex. There are times when I just decide not to go hunting or fishing 
because I am afraid I might accidently break some game law. 

I dont think a separate fee for a permit is needed. The season is short and a fee is not needed for one type of fish. The 
number of people that snag is small. Telecheck of fish might be a good idea to track the catch. 

I think a form with all the info, you need can be made. Send it to all email addresses you have and put a copy in the Mo. 
Conservation mag. Peopie can copy and print then fill it out and return by reg mail or email. If this don't work then you can 
consider tags and telecheck. 

I understand keeping track of what is going on. What I dont like is we buy so many permits & tags for something we my not 
harvest already. We start with buying a license for fishing and hunting, then you have to buy different permits and tags / or 
stamps, depending on what you want to harvest. Paddle fishing is hard work & expensive (gas). How can we keep it simple? 

i cannot believe what I just read in the Missouri Conservationist. You are going to charge another fee to the public. When will 
the taxation in this country end? I myself think this is unnecessary. If you want to create a tag system I can understand, but 
why do we the outdoors men have to pay another lug. i am sure one day we will pay a fee by the ounce for any mushrooms 
we find on public ground. When will this stop?? Folks don't have gas or grocery money and you want more of what they 
don't have. Well you ask for comments and this is mine. 

I have no problem with having to have a permit to go snagging or telecheck to keep track of them to help the population grow 
better 

No way, we won't pay. I'll admit, it's a creative scheme to raise revenues; make the fishermen pay for research you'll use to 
cut the limit or ban snagging. One guy with a scale and measuring stick could find out everything about paddlefish harvest in 
one day at any main snagging ramp in the state. It's so sad what the MDC has become. 

I am for all regulations conserning the poaching and taking of under sized fish , but the unfortunate cost of fuel, lead, and 
hooks, I am concerned the cost is going to be too much for me and for my customers, whom love the snagging sport, will 
want to pay for tags and such. 

While I detest the idea of more fees for exercising my right to share in the people's resources, I do understand the need to 
limit the take of locals who fish the river (Warsaw area in particular) daily and remove far more spoonbills than is ethical or 
necessary. It is my hope that we can limit the seasonal take without all of us having yet another fee burden us as we make 
the once or twice a season trip to the river. Thanks for Asking! 

I and every person I have talked to about this believe the permit for snagging idea is total bullshit. A permit for for snagging is 
just another way for the conservation department to make money. You people are pricing the average person out of hunting 
and fishing with your exsessive permit requirements. Give us a break and curb your greed. We can give you feedback without 
being charged to do so. I onced believed that we here in Missouri had the best conservation department in the world, but it 
appears it has became about how many permits you can sale. Does anyone in management there actually hunt and fish? 

I have never paddlefished in MO. We go to Ok for paddlefish because they have a cleaning station so they can do reseach and 
also get the eggs to sell. They pick the fish up on the lake, river,park,or boat ramp. All we have to do is pick up the meat at the 
cleaning station. We make two trips and stay one to two weeks. 

Requiring a paddlefish permit is another invasion into hunting and fishing rights which I am strongly opposed. If a telecheck 
for paddlefish would be beneficial I would use it but not at the expense of another permit. 

I ran the Paddlefish Creel for several years and saw the number of Snaggers increase as well as the number of Paddlesfish 
harvested each year it increased. I am concerned that at some point the harvest will exceed the release. I is difficult to get a 
real accurate number of fish harvested. The posted limits are not being adhered to as many snaggers harvest 20 plus each 
year. I hear them bragging about they to lOOIbs or more filets. I don't know how accurate a telecheck would be as I am sure 
you will not get a truthful response for those who take a lot of fish, one of the questions I had on the creel sheets was how 
many fish had they harvested so far this year and did not feel I was getting an accurate answer from many of the snaggers. I 
think maybe a snagging permit might be a good way of getting an accurate count on both the number of snaggers and they 
number harvested, however it would not be very popular from those who take a large number each year 



47 



I understand the idea behind trying to collect more data about paddlefish but, I hope in this "idea" of a permit and telecheck 
that no more added cost is involved. I will be truly dissapointed if I would have to BUY a "permit" to go snagging. One of the 
big reasons I love fishing so much is that I can buy just the fishing license and that covers me anywhere in the state of MO for 
any fish. Please DO NOT include having to buy another permit just to snag in your search for more information about 
paddlefish. 

Surly you don't need the extra money that this would bring in. I like the idea of tel-check if you need to know just how many 
fish are being caught. Perhaps we need to repeal the one eight cents sales tax and go back to the old method of paying the 
conservation department by the purchase of licenses.lt seems as if you are selling everything these days. Can a person keep 
the eggs of paddle fish and eat them? 

I.ve had quite a few of the snaggers wonder if it is the money, there are no phone towers up here, how would they check 
them in. a lot of them said if this goes through, they're done snagging, because of the cost of all of their equipment,and gas . 
another expense is not what they need. We had a lot of fish go through here this year, our biggest was 95#, but there were a 
lot of big fish, they are wanting to know, about weights-measurements-and all other vital information, we keep pictures of 
the bigger fish, but can't keep track of the numbers, because a lot of fish we never see. send any info to the resort, they have 
our address. 

If the taging system you are proposing is free I'm all for it. I have heard you are planing on charging 7 dollars per tag this is not 
justifiable. The tax payers of this state contribute a lot of money to conservation and to ask for more under the guise of 
tracking fish is ridiculous. The Fishermen and Women of this state are not stupid, this is seen for what it is, a money grab 
conceived by the conservation department, i love this states commiment to conservation and beleive Missouri has the best 
system in the country, If this idea is implemented and you charge $7 per tag you will crush alot of small business that depend 
on snagging, many people are not willing to pay for a fishing permit and then turn around and have to purchase tags for 
snagging. This is the reason I quit Trout fishing. With all the money you waste on stupid Ideas, or equipment that is abused 
from improper or no training, purchasing land that is not worth anything to conservation, and just plain wasting money. It 
makes me Mad that you ask for more to do something that I beleive you should be doing anyway. If you are trying to stop 
poaching I would start by charging more for out of state people to fish or just snag. I have been going snagging for over 20 
years. I see it every year. Out of state people fishing here the whole season catching 2 or 3 fish a day every day! I have 
reported these people and nothing happens! Now you want me to pay extra. I think I will have to see what you do, and decide 
if I will keep snagging. Please if you do this make it free, or just tag the fish and have people call with the tag info when they 
catch them. I truly beleive this will do more harm than good, maybe I am wrong, I hope that is the case but if you are going to 
charge me more money to fish I will most likely not be snagging anymore. This may not sound very problematic for you, but it 
will cost the business where I stay several hundred dollars for their season and I know I am not the only one who feels this 
way. 

I believe a telecheck would be a great tool to moniter the harvest and age of the fish, but saying that you are considering a 
snagging permit seems to be saying that you will be adding a cost to the fisherman, (not unlike a trout tag). I believe the 
permit should be free, or if there is a cost, all funds should go to the stocking and study of the paddle fish alone. Seems that 
this could grow legs, I.E. crappie stamp, bass stamp,... you get the picture. Do we not have fishery folks at some boat ramps 
taking samples already? 

I don't mind checking in a paddlfish, but I strongly disagree with the idea of buying tags for them. I would definitely feel 
obligated to fill each purchased tag whereas now I don't mind coming up empty. I enjoy the annual event with friends. 



48 



PADDLEFISH -The "easiest" big fish most people will ever catch in fresh water, with a little hard work! 1. No new permits! 2. 
Not everyone who fishes has the skill to operate a computer. 3. I quit buying permits, including "duck" stamps because of the 
pre-pasted "stamp". It is no longer desirable as a collectable stamp because of the adhesive- difficult to clean off the back of 
the stamp without destroying it! 4. Other permits and stamps: A) You did away with the trout stamp- which was highly 
collectable. Who would want a piece of computer generated piece of paper? BIG MISTAKE! B) You did away with the state 
duck stamp! (I have a complete collection) ANOTHER BIG MISTAKE! People who didn't even fish or hunt bought and collected 
those also. 5. Conservation Department has become too greedy. Tens of millions, perhaps billions of dollars are collected by 
MDC through "involuntary taxation" from a fishhook to a can of Coke. As well as all the multiple permits now required. 6, If 
you think you need MORE REVENUE, stop "wasting" a valuable "food source". Contact State of Oklahoma fish and game 
and initiate a caviar program like theirs. Conservation in that state provides "stations" that clean your paddlefish and harvest 
the eggs that are then marketed to Europe and Asia. VOLUNTARY NOT MANDATORY! Why not become a leader in Missouri to 
process the caviar in our home state - creating self sustaining jobs and have plenty of money to fund your computer 
operations which is what you are proposing to do. If the eggs are not usable as food in the USA, the fish are also 
contaminated. NO NEW TAXES - NO NEW PERMITS! Other means: Paper trail the guides on Lake Ozarks with feed back. 
Some of them take out 6-8 people per day and limit out all of them. FACT Ask for voluntary reporting. Most fishermen like 
to brag. Other Exclusions: No permits for Mississippi or Missouri River snagging. Few fish are caught by line. Carp and buffalo 
are better table fare than spoonbill! , especially grass carp. Chinese carp are too abundant and have drastically affected 
quantity and quality of river "spoons". I personally hooked up a 58# Chinese carp on the Mississippi River -; 36" long in April- 
May 2010. Weighed on the bank. PERMITS IN GENRAL: As a 72 year old lifetime resident, I've enjoyed hunting and fishing 
since I was 11 years old. Got a late start having been raised in the Big City. No telling how many thousand gallons of gas used 
to pursue table fare for my family and me, or how many dollars in permits spent. Multiple states. It is obvious that no 
consideration is given on behalf of the elderly. We are not all "rolling in dough" as you young people think. I might get a day 
during turkey season or deer season where I feel good enough to go out but not worth paying for a permit for a couple of 
hours in the field or in a boat. So I just don't go. Cost just does not justify the small amount of time that maybe I can go out. 
So when you add another permit, you eliminate people like me, not to mention the lack of accessibility for those of us who 
would rather take our last breath outdoors as opposed to a hospital bed. NO ADDITIONAL PERMITS Reply Requested 
How much will the permit cost? Will there be a limit set? example 10 per season telecheck tags? Can a boat ramp survey be 
done to glean the data wanted? Could a term limit be put on the special permit? say 5 years of data should be enough Could 
a report card be used like at CA's Thanks for asking for imput 

our whole family has been going to the James River and to Warsaw to fish for the Spoon bill and not every time we go we 
actually get fish, if they were to have a permit you have to buy before you catch them, it would put us out money because we 
may not even catch any fish and also it cost us quite a bit just to get the supplies we need to take the fishing trip in the first 
place, please consider this information from people who dont have a lot of money to fish for these, thanks 

we have a whole family go to Warsaw or James river to spoon bill we pick to come to spoon bill cause of the meat but if we 
haft to sit in the cold and have a chance of not getting a spoonbill so if we haft to pay to sit in the cold and have a chance of 
not getting one i could see it if we got one forsure but not if where not getting one forsure 

i am not opposed to a snagging permit, however i believe the season should be extended on all areas, i believe this will help 
to decrease the asian carp also. 

if you do a tag/permit it should not cost anything as economy is too bad and over taxed as it is. also the Asian carp are taking 
over most snagging catches like over 90% and have been for several years now. plus too many floods have kept most from 
being able to snag at all last 2-3 years. 

I think it might scare beginners away the snagging sport, it's always been a free sport, with fishing license. The telecheck is a 
good system and would be good way to keep track of fish. I have been snagging for 54 years, I beleive something ought to be 
done about the real small fish that bunch together and some snaggers just continue to snag into them knowing they are 
killing them. I think all small spoonbill no matter whether dead or alive should be reported if snagged and returned back to 
the water. Some of the other States take the Roe and the gland when you check them in and they dress the Fish and flash 
freeze your fish. It would be simple way to retreve all the Roe and the glands. 

A special permit is another way to get more money out of us. I agree you need to monitor it better but tele check not an 
option for lack of phone service at many locations. Send out surveys like you do for ducks and deer. 

keep me informed for now 



49 



I go snagging every year with family and friends and I try to get new comers to the Lake of the Ozarks to give it a go as well. I 
firmly believe that more information collected on these fish would be a great be a asset to the avid snagger, someone who 
wants to try and also for those that do not know anything about spoonbill. I like the idea of the Tele check system or even 
having local businesses or our local conservation outpost act as weighin stations. The reason i would prefer the weighin 
station idea is that our local agents would be able to actually put their hands on the fish. I believe that being able to physically 
see or touch the fish would give better information than just reading it off a computer screen. Now as for the additional 
permit and cost being a good idea that I am not so sure. Personally I would not mind because snagging is a privilege and it 
wouldn't be any different than buying deer hunting or fishing permit (i.e. deer, turkey, trout). However in todays society and 
economy there will be those people who will be unwilling to purchase the permit. This will be met with defiance because of 
more regulation. I also believe that with any new regulation there must be more enforcement. Will our local agents or game 
wardens be able to spend the time to efficently enforce the new regulation? Does the department of conservation have the 
man power? One solution in my opinion is that at the time of purchasing the fising permit have the seller ask if the purchaser 
will be snagging during the season. Everyone must have a fising permit so this would atleast give a approximate account of 
how many people go snagging. 

I don't like the idea of special tag/tele-check mandate. I know as a butcher that your Deer tele-check system only works with 
caring/honest hunter's. Why would it be any different for Fisherman? MDC needs to re-think a few things from 2 years ago 
with the change in tags & bags (the stickable tags were used alot more by hunters. ..so it's kind of a joke) and a pain in the 
butt for processors, what do you think wire does to a knife? Butchers don't use wire cutters. & snagger's won't tele-check 
anymore than Deer hunter do! So again in my opinion caring/honest, Hunter's/now Snagger's do our part to no-avail! What's 
the point? 

your nuts, tell-check is ok but you charge me a fee to snag ill stop going. Im sure others will do the same thus costing our area 
merchants a loss of income. I feel you waste the tax payers money on crap like this rather than working on preserving our 
hunting and fishing areas. 

I personally am in favor of anything that brings "snagging" success back to what it was in years past. It seems like in the last 
ten years there has been a steady decline in fish being caught. I personally have caught one keeper spoonbill in the last five 
years and am becoming quite discouraged with the time, effort, and money spent for little or no reward, I have quit refering 
to it as going fish but rather as goin to "drag lead" (with some disgust). If a seperate permit fee and added catch information 
would help restore fishing to levels of years past I think true conservationists will not have any problem with a small fee or 
telechecking fish. I truly hope spoonbill numbers can be brought back to high levels and applaud MDC's efforts to do so. Good 
luck as I know as well as anyone these tasks undertakin will require time and much hard work but I believe that's what makes 
us such a great state. From all fisherman thank you for your efforts. 

Don't have enough details about MDC's plans to say if I agree with it. However, I have become an avid snagger in the last 
three years and enjoy the opportunity to utilize this fishery. I would recommend MDC try a voluntary program of reporting 
before implementing another fee on sportsmen. A voluntary program may yield suffient data that a "telecheck" program 
would not be needed, which would eliminate the administrative costs and proposed fee. I would be glad to record each 
catch, legal and sublegal, and any other associated data for each trip and submit the information to MDC. Let's get the 
sportman involved in the management of their sport and be a partner with MDC instead of just another source of revenue. 

I support paddle fish permits. Depth finders make it much easier to spot and snag paddle fish. I am not an expert but have 
easily snagged large paddle fish in the Lake of the Ozarks for the last 10 years. Given the volume of snaggers I see each year; 
it is a good idea to limit the number of paddle fish taken. Guides, daily snaggers, and skilled fisherman can easily take a large 
number of sizable fish each year. I would also recommend raising the length limit to 40 inches also and season limits of 2 to 4 
fish per permit. 

I have been snagging paddlefish for over 40yrs. lama life long resident of St. Clair Co. I take kids fishing every year. Most 
catch their first big fish in my boat. I don't understand why you want to charge over and above the regular fishing license. 
Between the new four point antler deer regulations, probable white catfish length limits and now this, it seems it is now just a 
trophy and rich peoples mdc. What ever happened to using the resource for food and family entertainment? The 
government's damming of Truman Lake made it necessary for the stocking of paddlefish in the first place. Now the 
government wants to charge extra to fix what they destroyed! If you place an extra charge of any kind on paddlefish, I am 
probably done snagging!!! I buy hunting, fishing and trapping tags every year besides deer tags. I am about to stop it all and 
just go to landowner only. I feel taxed enough already! ! ! 

On Friday Aug. 17th, I went fishing below Clearwater spillway. I caught 2 paddlefish, both had tags on them. We didn't know 
what they were, (never caught anything like it.) We contact the Park Ranger and he contact the conservation office. We 
released both fishs back into the water with tags still on. They were huge the first one, I estimated to be about 2 feet and 
the other one was larger. I am 6 foot and I had the fish up to my waist and his tall was dragging the ground. Beautiful fish. 
Caught them on worms on a ten pound line. Quite a fight. Please send me more info on this fish. 



50 



I am not sure how a telecheck system would work for fish? This may hender research more than it would help. The only 
people that would call in would be people that caught fish. This still doesn't help with the count of no fish days or short fish 
days. I would think it would be better to have vounteers sit at ramps during a 8 hr day and take a survey of the fish caught. 
The main days of fishing are only Saturday and Sunday. You could even pay them alittle since you would be saving money on 
a tag system. Just a Thought. 

I feel you need to do as OK. has done do a free tag to help track it. we snag on the James and flat river in table rock lake and it 
is a lot better then snagging in Oklahoma were I snag also I have out state ok lie but live closer to the snagging there the price 
of fuel is getting really hard price prohibitave to snag but missouri has better population then OK. the limits are better also, 
we get bigger fish in mo. the avg. fish in mo is about 50 lbs in ok it is about 30 lbs which is what we are seeing not sure about 
everybody else but whenthey are running there are several boats snagging for them last time i was out there were 50 boats 
on James and flat river snagging 

I have been fishing since I was about 3 years old here in Missouri and I am now 26 I never went snaging until I moved to Joplin 
and still do not go in Missouri. My comment would be to look at the Oklahoma paddle fish research center seems ti me they 
make a whole lot of money with that setup and they can track when and where your fish was caught if I was expected to call 
in every time I wanted to keep a fish I would just stop fishing in Missouri all together 

I don't like having to buy an extra permit. But, if it helps the paddlefishing in Missouri, I'm in. 

Am very much in favor of the proposals. For several years now I have had a growing concern about the health of our 
paddlefish populations - just doesn't seem to be the same as it was 5-10 years ago. Am not sure if the populations are 
healthy and it was merely the different environmental influences present at the time during the last few seasons have caused 
us to have less success than in the past, or if it's just bad luck or poor timing on our part or if the population has declined and 
we have a serious problem on our hands to deal with. Would love to see the proposed research methods implemented so we 
can learn the answers to questions like these and develop different plans/regulations for the paddlefish if needed. 

I think this is a great idea, it will raise money for restocking and help keep a better record of the amount of fish taken, not to 
mention it will keep out of staters from coming in and harvesting Missouri paddlefish for almost nothing, an out of state 
permit will increase revenue and keep every one on a fair playing field. 

I am absolutly opposed to a new fee "TAX" on paddlefishing!!! 

I am concerned with the extra fees we may have to pay to snag because my husband and I are over 60 living on a limited 

income. .There is so little to do anymore that doesn't cost please consider the seniors and low income Missouri people 

when considering these permit fees. Thank you. 

Its getting to the point where the mdc wants to attach a fee to every public resource we have. I buy a hunt permit,federal 
duck stamp,and migratory bird permit to hunt ducks and geese and when the conservation order for snow geese starts the 
mdc wants another "small permit fee" for something i have already paid for. I caught my first paddlefish this year and had a 
great time, however i doubt i will pursue this activity for another "small permit fee' or shoot another snow goose during the 
conservation order when the basic permit is not enough anymore. Every time i purchase anything i am paying taxes that go 
to the mdc for our resources. PLEASE USE OUR MONEY WISELY AND QUIT ASKING FOR MORE . WE ARE TAXED ENOUGH! 
I am a avid "snagger" and believe that all you are doing by special tags and telecheck is asking for more illegal activity. I 
applaud you for your efforts in restocking and think the system is fine as is. I don't believe the outdoorsman should be held 
accountable for the dams that were built without respect for the fish that can no longer spawn naturally. The corps of 
engineers should be the ones paying the extra money for something they ruined and not the people who already pay plenty 
for the privelage of fishing "our" waters 

I fully support the permit idea, the limit should also be changed to 2 per week with a 30 day season. Would also like to see 
bank snagging at the boat ramp below Bagnell Dam allowed with a special access permit(25.00). For those of us who don't 
own a boat, snagging is almost impossible to do, most landowners won't allow access to the river. I would also like to see the 
gaffing of small spoonbill, catfish etc made a fining offense. A lot of fish are killed each year by those that are gaff happy. The 
length limit needs to be made the same state wide, 40 inches would be a great start. Also, if you changed the season to the 
fallfas it used to be)with turkey, deer hunting and other things going on, it would reduce the pressure on the spoonbill. 
Thanks for all you do. 

I think a paddlefish tag would be a great idea. Even a charge for them would be a good idea to cover study cost and future 
stockings. 4 of us have fished table rock every year since 2001 and have seen 1 creel officer the whole time. More 
enforcement and fish checks would be a good idea. Another plan should be to get bordering states to have a lenght limit on 
paddlefish in public rivers. I fish the Des Moines river in iowa and see way to many 10-20 pond fish being caught and kept that 
should be released, a 30 inch length limit should be on every river that drains into the Missippi and Missouri Rivers 



51 



I have always paid permit costs for hunting and fishing in Missouri with a smile on my face. I enjoy the opportunities to hunt 
and fish in Missouri and feel that the MDOC has done an admirable job of keeping our waters and land full of game. My 
concern is that the MDOC is creating this system for the wrong reasons. I can't help but think this telecheck system won't end 
up doing more harm than good. Much like the deer telecheck created an increase in the number of citations for game 
violations, the telecheck for paddlefish is just going to hurt the honest fishermen out there. Simple mistakes in the process 
end up making the guys trying to do the right thing pay fines for procedural mishaps. What is wrong with the current system? 
If you are truly just trying to gather information, why don't you offer it up to sportsmen to self-report their catches online or 
make a mobile app for it? The extra cost is not so much a concern, but having to go through several more compulsory steps 
just takes away from the fun of fishing. Beyond that, how many permits can you buy? Are you trying to limit the harvest? 
How long will it be before a season limit is instituted? If you feel that the number of paddlefish in Missouri has declined and 
that we have to regulate the harvest for true conservation efforts, why don't you just say so? The true sportmen out there 
trying to do the right thing will understand that, but making them pay more and go through more mandatory processes to 
stay within the regulation just to collect data isn't going to seem justified to them. I will be very interested to attend some of 
these meetings on paddlefish regulations to stay abreast of the proposed changes. 

small permit fee? no, we pay plenty of tax already 

I am fine with a "telecheck" system for the fish but I don't see why there should be a cost per person. I go snagging almost 

every weekend throughout the season but I almost always take out a different group of people. Most people can't afford the 

tackle and equipment it takes to successfully snag only once a year so I usually provide all of the tackle. If a small fee does 

need to be accessed I would like to see it applied as a "1 per party tag". Then at the end of the day the entire party can 

report the days catch. 

First there are no meetings planned close to Kansas City. Secondly, I see this as another tax. Part of the revenue raised will 

go to the general state fund I am sure, and a small portion will be returned to improve the sport. We have had a good fishery 

for several years. Now why do we have to tax it to improve it? I do not have any issues with any kind to reporting system 

such as telecheck. 

As I staded before I would rather see a voluntary form to fill out. I believe all legal fisherman would be happy to fill these out 
and mail them back, or fill one out online after thier fishing trip. The illegal ones won't follow the right procedures anyway. 

I think it could be more like OK, where the gland and the eggs are collected, and the fish is flash frozen for each permit. It 
would be a way that most fishermen would cooperate with Conservation in the new plan. There might not be so many small 
and undersize fish kept, I fish a lot at Warsaw, and see this a lot. I have been snagging for 50 years, and would be for it 
completely. Seems like theres more snaggers than fish. I'm up in the years, and I like to see the sport saved for the newer 
generations. 

Paddlefishing is a truly unique experience. Hooking into one of the truly large specimens brings an opportunity for story 
telling beyond the normal library of fishermen's' tales for anyone with enough oomph to yank on a long, heavy rod for at least 
a little while. The cost of business is going up all over. If the MDC operated similar to other states that come to mind. ..always 
digging into the pockets of sportsmen/women without discernible results. ..I believe MDC would be barking up an empty tree 
to propose another user fee be initiated. BUT, a small fee to maintain Missouri's outstanding paddle fishing opportunities will 
probably fare well among paddlefish pursuers. A $3-5$ Paddlefish Endorsement similar to Trout validation or a State 
Migratory Bird permit would most likely be an acceptable amount in efforts to sustain the fishery. Sport fisher folks probably 
won't mind doing a little cost sharing if the funds are dedicated to sustaining our state's magnificent paddlefish resources. 
It is wrong for sport fishermen to have to comply with your new money making venture. My comment will not matter. Just 
be honest, the ink is dry on the permits and ready to force on us. I commented on the four point deer rule. How many 
people are injured or dead since then. Don't stop at this or the elk stocking. Can't wait until you believe we should have 
elephants in the ozarks. Now that is a bad car wreck. I will be careful and not shoot a wolf, this fall. Can't have enough 
wolves. 

I canoe and kayak fish the James River for smallmouths. This year, (2012) from Hooten Town access to River Bend Retreat, I 
notice there were large numbers of paddle fish in the deeper holes. They would come up to the surface and take a look and 
then follow along our kayaks for a short length, like a dolphin does in the ocean. This happen 3 or 4 times this year, really cool 
to see such a strange looking fish act in this way. Probably won't help for your research, but I thought I'd share this story with 
you. Thanks 

Let me start by letting the MDC know I appreciate their effort in managing Missouri's paddlefish population. Our family and 
friends have enjoyed many hours of fun filled "spoonbilling". I don't think you will get any better participation by charging an 
additional fee. Those that fish with the new licenses will most likely participate and those snagging without the license will 
not. I have a very good snagging location and don't want to advertise it. We also release most of what we snag. 

I would probably agree to a "Paddlefish" license if you could convince me it worked for the good of this fishery and was just 
not another tax. 



52 



I would prefer that current lifetime permit holders be exempt from the proposed paddlefish permit regulation change. 
Thanks for providing the opportunity to comment. 

I always wanted to know what is the rule on paddlefish about the in possession rule. 2 a day and 4 in possession. I hope thats 
right. Does that mean you can only have 4 in freezer, and as soon as you eat 2 you can get 2 more? would like to do it 
right you know 

a small tag fee would not be bad as long as you don't get to carried away. 

Great idea! 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this. I just found the old magazine and saw the call for comments. In my 
earlier years I used to be a avid snagger. I could not wait for March 15 to start the season. We went maybe 2-3 times per 
year and caught some but nothing really large, usually in the Osage river below the dam. Now the bridge. Rules have 
certainly change for the better. I have always considered a large 50+ spoonbill to be a trophy comparable to a nice deer in the 
fall or gobbler in the spring. I was even wondering why we did not have to tag and check them as in deer and turkey hunting 
because as you know some guys are just better hunters and fishermen than the average Joe and can really thin the resource if 
not regulated. I have always consider the two fish posession limit a joke. On some of my trips in the old days a guy at the 
landing would say how well everyone in the boat had limited out yesterday or in the previous days. And back again today to 
get another boat load. I sincerely doubt they were following the posession limits. A tag and check system would at least help 
in enforcement if people are illegally overharvesting. It has always irritated me that guys with the time could fish each day 
and basically take unlimited fish at two per day illegally. They are stealing from the people who do not have as much time 
and do follow the rules. I'm all for catch and release and tagging the ones you wish to keep. Once your tags are gone you 
should stop snagging or use your time guiding your friends who still have tags. The four point rule in deer hunting has 
improved our hunting in incredible ways. It's our choice which legal buck to shoot. Once we make that choice and pull the 
trigger and place our tag, the remaining bucks we see are off limits, even if larger. I think this would be a good model for 
snagging. Another good reason to go to a tagging system would be to limit the number of people on the river. Much as the 
Monday opening of spring turkey season limits the hunters in the woods over the first weekend because those able can kill a 
bird before the weekend. One reason I quit snagging was because of the crowding on the river and the attitudes of some of 
the people I observed while doing so. Rude, cussing at each other, threating, inconsiderate. I know and have met some really 
good people while snagging but think I've actually seen more that are the exact opposite of a good sportsman while on the 
river. It was enough to get me to quit. If there should be a tagging system and regualtions that make spoonbill on par with 
deer and turkey I believe I would try it again. All my gear has been sitting in the garage wait to get wet again. By having 
successful people tag their allotted fish and then get off the river I believe it will enhance the experience for all. Thanks for 
the opportunity to comment on this, I have thought about it for a long time 

This proposal does not sound like a move forward. The 'low cost' permit is unlikely to stay 'low cost' for long, and even the 
requirement is going to put off 'casual' snaggers like us. Please don't make it any more complicated than necessary. 

we already have a fishing permit fee. shouldnt add anymore financial burden on your fisherman, Telecheck is joke, the people 
that are catching more than their limit are not going to call anyway. Should be a check station at boat ramp or a local tackle 
shop would be best to increase his revenue also, also your information gathered would be much more accurate, thanks 

I think this would be overkill. The telecheck systems only keep the honest folks more honest anyway. If someone wants to go 
over their limit or under length restrictions they are not going to "check" it in anyway. I have to say I would think this measure 
to be an extreme nuisance. Thank You 

I do not agree with requiring a snagging permit. A regular fishing license is enough. It is beginning to become too much with 
buying hunting and fishing license just for small fish and game then have to buy all these special permits for the more popular 
fish and game. Telechecking fish seems a bit over the top as well. I believe both of these ideas will hurt the snagging industry. 
Snagging equipment is expensive enough along with the cost of fuel. Adding the cost of permits will cause many people to 
quit snagging. The economy is not stable enough to add more costs. 

I oppose the idea of permitting and telechecks for spoonbill. Missourians are being hit hard enough by economic costs and 
taxes. Soon, sport-fishing will suffer due to being inaffordable to those who participate... MDC has enough revenue without 
adding more permit revenues. 

I support snagging permits as a means to fund the paddlefish conservation. Efforts should be made to increase recruitment in 
naturally reproducing population in addition to funding an increase in stocked paddlefish. The telecheck system would seem 
bothersome to most. Perhaps MDC could operate check-in stations at popular boat ramps and used tag returns (assuming 
hatchery fish are PIT tagged) to estimate harvest and mortality. 

I like the idea of better management programs for all wildlife. Not to say its bad in any way. I just hope this doesn't make the 
cost of fishing skyrocket. Although i wouldnt mind paying some for the costs of better fishing, it seems most outdoorsman 
are already limited to the amount of outdoor recreation they can afford. 

53 



I dont like the idea of a separet permit because i spend enough to go out and do this. I have been goin snaggen 16 years this is 
the first year i caught 1 sorry i wont pay more money and may not get any. 

I would go for a reasonably priced snagging permit, as long as all of the money goes to paddlefish research and stocking 
program. The telecheck system would be a good way to gather info on numbers and locations of fish taken. 

NO! If you keep this up we will have to buy a permit and check our catfish, bass, bluegill, doves, quail, etc. I don't think it is 

right that i have to purchased state and federal permits to hunt ducks and geese and then also have to buy a conservation 

order permit to shoots snow and blue geese and those who choose to only hunt snows and blue's only purchase the 

conservation order. When will you stop adding special permits? 

This is my 2nd year snagging for paddlefish and I was curious as to how the fish were being tracked, if there was a paddlefish 

license, and the programs used to study the needs and dynamics of the population. I believe there needs to be a paddlefish 

license to help with the additional costs of studies and stocking. This will allow MDC to know how many were harvested, the 

length, weight, sex, overharvesting, overstocking, and angler success rate. This would be very interesting to read the 

information collected and it would even be more interesting to partake in the program! 

How much would a permit be? What ages would it affect? I would support a permit for snagging depending on the fee and 

would support that it be imposed on all ages. I would not be against a total limit per season per permit either - 

I am opposed to a permit and telecheck for snagging paddlefish. 

The telecheck on paddlefish is a good idea, but I don't want to see another fee associated with the permit(s). How does a guy 
that snags a lot during the season get all the tags he needs at one time? The tags will be virtually impossible to attach to a 
keeper fish while on the water, because most fish are tied up to the boat. Very poor cell phone service on most lakes/rivers, 
so the telecheck would have to have time constraints involved and not have to be immediate like deer/turkey. 

Depending on how much the permit would be I would support it if it helps with the stocking cost and the cost of raising the 

spoonbill. Question is how is a person susposed to check one in? And how many people will check them in? It may cost more 

money then it is worth doing. Don't worry I would check mine in, I am a Hunter ed Instructor and I wouldn't want that taken 

away because I got a ticket. 

Add questions to the permit buying process. Don't add a tag or permit that I need to purchase or keep track of. I understand 

you spend money on paddlefish, but the way the MDC is going, especially with duck hunting, I would vote to repeal the 1/8 

per percent sales tax right now. Quit making our lives more regulated. 

Interesting, maybe they could not have a permit, but have an honor system of people submitting the info requested. When 

you get into permits, it will undoubtedly cost something, then you need to appoint someone to oversee, and that costs 

something, and then you have more regs to enforce and that costs something All in all we are using what is mostly an 

honor system anyhow, especially with the new hunting permits. I know this is fishing and not hunting, but if telecheck is 

involved, then it will be a similar process. 

An additional snagging permit is not wanted by sportsmen. Telechecking is also something that sportsmen do not want. If the 

MDC should implement either of these proposals it will create more of a rift in releations between the MDC and Missouri 

sportsmen. 

do me a favor get up tomorrow morninig and look in the mirror and tell that person that the tele check system is a good use 
of tax payers money and not just another way to make yourself more important, spending more more on another needless 
goverment project 

This year was my first year of snagging, with a friend who has a boat. I am hooked. I want to continue to catch paddlefish for 
the rest of my life. I caught a 5 foot, 40 lbs. fish and my immediate thought was: "Do i need to telecheck this?" I think that a 
telecheck system is welcome, to better manage these fish for future fishing. 

A snagging permit what the hell!!!! We are all ready having to get tags and permits for every than as it is. Whats next a Bass 
tag a tag for every tip of fish. Maybe a tag for just being in the woods. Or a permit to look at a duck or a deer. Or maybe we 
need to stop using tags and fish and hunt when we like and the Hell with the MDC 

M G HOW MANY WAYS CAN U GUYS FIND 2 GET N MY POCKET!!! A SNAGGING PERMIT, NOWAY, NOWAY!!! 

All this is , is another way to get more money and sell another permit. Paddlefish are doing fine without more regs and 
nonsense. MDC has gotten so far removed from anything but money is shameful!. As past employee i will work hard to see 
somekind of accountability come to this organization!!! 

It seems that the MDC never ceases to find excuses to force Missouri residents to spend more and more money. I, for one, am 
about fed up with the endless regulations and expense that this Dept. imposes on the residents of this state. I see on a daily 
basis a tremendous amount of wasteful expense that the MDC flaunts with no concern. I am opposed to any type of permit 
and regulation that would create any type of expense or inconvenience to citizens of this state. If the Dept. would better 
manage their funds, I don't feel that you would have to invent new sources of revenue. I also am concerned that the monies 
collected for paddlefish studies would be severely mis-managed like all the res 

54 



I think the idea of telechecking is far overboard if there will be a charge per tag. Many people along Missouri's lakes and 
rivers rely on the Paddelfish as a supply of food for the spring months and charging per fish could bar them from being able to 
use this as a method of providing food for themselves and their families. However, I think the idea of requiring maybe a 
special permit for snagging (costing roughly the same as a fishing permit) and having the person sign that they will report data 
could accomplish the same goal without forcing people to either fish illegally or else find another potentially illegal method of 
supplying food for their family. Deer, for example, provide a significantly higher yield of food for individuals than a Paddelfish 
does, particularly if they are legal but not much bigger than the legal 34 inches. 

I think this is another way for the MO Conservation to make money.. Snagging is a lot different than deer and turkey hunting. 
Its making it a pain for those, that are law abiding citizens.. If the agents you have know would work. You would see a 
difference in the criminal side of the fishing industry. I usually see the conservation agents on the lake hangout in the 
restrains. Once in 20 years have a agent spoke to me on the water or dock.... and for several years they parked there boat 
three slips from mine.... There boat would have spider webs on it. 

If you require a paddlefish permit in the future then I will quit paddlefishing. MDC has gotten so greedy it's almost pathetic. 
Give me a break, another permit, another cost to us. Before you know it I'll have to have a special permit to shot squirrels! I 
Better yet, you don"t need to continue tracking turkey harvest anymore. They are well established and you have enough data 
on them anyway. You should eliminate that cost to the hunter, instead of increasing cost!! Now you want to do a Paddle fish 
permit, so you can generate more money for the conservation department that can't even take care of its own conservation 
land. 

I would not mind the telecheck or needing a permit so long as they dont cost money. Or exempt life time fishing permit 
holders from the fee, we've already paid our dues! You can expect a significant decline in the amount of paddle fish snagging 
that ill be doing if a fee is implemented, and i suspect this will be the influence on others as well. Thanks for asking opinions 
before putting anything into motion! 

What a joke. MDC wants to charge for a permit so they can collect information on paddlefish. Are you telling me that MDC 
can't come up with some way to collect their information without charging yet another fee. I have been a snagger since I was 
old enough to hold a pole and have come from a long line of snaggers from Osceola, MO. It disgusts me now to know that 
something that should be my God given right is now going to cost even more money on top of the already overpriced fishing 
permit that I already pay for. MDC has been unregulated government agency for far to long. When will it end? 

I like the idea of having a Telecheck system to track the paddlefish, but I don't like the idea of charging for a snagging permit 
to do it. We already have a fishing license and that should be plenty, I think it would be more trouble than it's worth trying to 
enforce the permits. It's not like we have a ton of people coming into Missouri for snagging like we do for deer season. 

On the surface it sounds like a good idea. Unfortunatelyjudging from past experience, I believe this plan will result in 
increased cost and endless hassles for the sportsmen. Your people will over develop the project and then force the people to 
pay for your extravagance. 

I wouldn't be popped to a paddlefish permit as long as it is no cost. I would stop going snagging if I had to buy another 
expensive permit. 

NO, NO, NO! The last thing we need in this State is more permits and more MDC researchers! Buy more river access points! 
Buy that one at Gasconade Hills, (not all the land just the river access.) We are rapidly losing access points to the streams in 
South Missouri, even the USFS is blocking off traditionally used access points on the Big Piney. Paddlefish were doomed when 
started damming rivers. 

It seems to me that you just want to charge us poor fisher person's more money for some grandiose idea someone has come 
up with. I am very much against this idea of a snagging permit. What next, every fish we catch or animal we hunt we have to 
obtain a permit, plus the hunting/fishing license? 

As long as the limits stay the same i dont have a problem with it. I just dont see people taking the time to telecheck. 

Really? I think there are plenty of regulations. ..what's next. ..you gonna charge me for every fish I catch? So you wanna place 
fees on top of fees. Pay to fish. ..pay for each fish. ..soon only people who don't do things legally will be the only people 
hunting and fishing 

I would support a paddlefish permit. It would help with costs associated with raising paddlefish to be stocked in state waters. 
I would also support telechecking paddlefish to better asses harvest rates and stocking needs. 



55 



Instead of adding an additional permit, which may cause some not to go or try paddlefishing, why not do what other states 
have done and set-up a 'check-point' type system. At many of these the eggs of the females are collected and then sold to 
support the research (offsetting the $ loss from additional permit sales). As part of it many offer free fish cleaning as the 
incentive to the fisherperson to check their catch. This also leaves the researcher with access to the fileted carcass for any 
additional research they may want to perform (for instance the impact on the population genetic introduced by artifical 
spawning). The regulation change would be minor and more importantly would not impact the fishing public with either new 
regulations or permits (basically a change allowing the MDC or agents of to harvest, possess and sale eggs). Keep in mind the 
snagging season is relatively short, and concentrating 'stations' at high volume locations would allow relative ease in 
collecting data. With the price of eggs, it is very feasible to be a self supporting program and would provide a better use of the 
resource than it is currently. 

i think its a catch 22. on the one hand we have seen how things like this have done wonders for waterfowl hunting 
(i.e. migratory bird permit fed. duck stamp), then on the other hand these sports we all love so much are becoming more and 
more expensive and if they become too expensive there will be no money to help you all because no one will be able to 
afford them, love snagging and look forward to many years to come either way. you've done a good job. keep it up 

NO THANKS< You already stuck Us with an extra charge for sow goose hunting last year with no end results but lining your 
pockets,„if you want info on snagging send out questionaires not screw the people for it, quit jacking the prices so high that 
normal people cant afford to partake,... 

I agree with a Small charge to be applied to the hatching program but TELECHECK will cause more poching and selling of the 
roe then everbefore. 

As a lifelong fisherman- and I love it- 1 respect paddlefish to the degree that we do need to protect and research these fish as 
much as possible. Therefore, I am in favor of the additional fee and the research being performed. 

I dont think many people would like the tag system but I can see how it might help. ..My main concern is that I am newbie and 
I tag rides with different people goingt to different lakes at different times. ..as long as the tags didnt limit the use to a cartain 
area I would ok with it. Also it would be nicer if they were like the archery tags. ...you buy one permit and get all your tags for 
that low price. 

Missouri has a wonderful Conversation Department, and clearly the regular stocking of paddlefish is a very large undertaking. 
I'll gladly do my part to help track caught fish. 

I think it's a good idea to have a telecheck system to help with research of the paddlefish to improve that fishery. However, I 
do not think it is a good idea to create a permit for snagging paddlefish. I am new to snagging, going for the first time in 2011. 
I may not have gone snagging if I would have had to buy a permit on top of the fishing license. As tough as times are right 
now for so many, it would not be a good time to make people buy another permit to snag for paddlefish, unless MDC wants 
less people taking up that sport during a time of the year when there is not much else going on. 

Instead of hitting the fishermen with more cost and license fee's why don't the MDC take advantage of the Paddlefish 
Roe/Caviar sales like the state of Oklahoma? Keith Green an Oklahoma Game Warden came up with the idea and impossed it. 
it is quite successful and makes the state of Oklahoma a bunch of money that goes right back into the paddlefish program. 
The MDC is no stranger to Keith and his methods as he has presented his operation to the MDC in the past and the state of 
Oklahoma has offered to help with the set up of such. Its a no brainer and puts to use the thousands of pounds of Paddlefish 
eggs that go to waste, why would the MDC rather wase this natural resouece and gouge the public for mor revenue when 
there is a bbetter alternative? 

I think this it is a good idea. With that said, I don't think the snagger should have to pay for a creel survey. MDC spent a lot of 
money on a helicoptor creel that yielded nothing to the snaggers or to MDC. MDC doesn't charge the catfish angler or the 
smallmouth bass angler for the research to understand their populations or harvest rates. MDC doesn't charge the urban 
angler for the urban catfish program which cost more than the paddlefish program. MDC spends a vast amount of money on 
other species like muskie/walleye that doesn't bring the nonresident angler to the state. This low cost tag might change non- 
resident anglers minds about coming here. I don't want to call in after a long day of snagging to report my catch. This would 
be a lot easier for the angler to fill out a survey similar to the migratory bird permit. The angler can answer the question the 
next season. 

I have been snagging for 15 years straight and have not pulled in one fish. Any "small fee" would be to much. I am 
contributing greatly to the region where we fish. Isn't that enough? There aren't nearly as many snaggers out as there used 
to be in recent years. You need to put more fish in the Table rock lake James river arm area. This area used to be full of 
boats. Now it is a ghost town. 

I have been snagging, going on 34 years now, and I think it is the worst idea MDC has ever had!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whats 
next.. .frogs??? I believe I would sell all my gear, poles, tackle, and think real hard about even selling the boat!!!! If MDC needs 
money that bad then something is very wrong!!!!!! And don't even try to use "research" for an excuse because that's just a 
load of cr*p! !!!!!!!!!!! One vote NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

56 



this is another way to cut the number of sportspersons in the field. why doesnt mo. do like other states i have read about that 
fund thier paddle fish program by letting fisherman donate the eggs.montana and Oklahoma allow groups to collect eggs from 
fisherman at boat ramps for a portion of the profits. many thousands of dollars are dumped into the river every year. groups 
like boy scouts profit from this while adding funding to the hatchery program, making a stronger resource.the article that i 
read stated huge profits from the sale of eggs.they also stated that the more legal eggs put into the market,the less room 
there was for illegal eggs to be sold.the telecheck proposed does not bother me,but milking a few more dollars out uf us 
does.i quit hunting snow geese in the light goose season when the light goose permit was introduced. i didnt understand how i 
could hunt them during the regular season and then need another permit to hunt a season that is designed to reduce the 
population.there has been many dollars spent to reduce the population, but when you have people trying to help,you want to 
charge them.im sorry but i have never had any luck charging people to help me.i buy my state and fed stamps and that should 
be enough.the dept. is losing support of a lot of people and really doesnt seem to care,like most gov. agencys 

Our Con. Dept. doesn't need to impose anymore regs. and cost on the public. Whats next, crappie, cat fish? Anytime you 
think you have to have more info on anything will you impose more regs on the public? Of course you will. You going to send 
people to jail, confiscate their drivers license, give them a criminal record just so you can count fish? If you need more money, 
find a different excuse! How about we vote to cancel the Conserv. sales tax and really give you something to worry about? 

i would not mind a log book or call in a spoonbill report, i do not like the pay for a permit considering we already pay for a 
fishing license 



57 



Appendix 12 
Comment Flyer & Poster for the Missouri State Fair and other Fairs 



r 



Paddlefish Snaggers 

Help the Future of Paddlefish 



Missouri has some of the best paddlefish 
snagging in the United States, 

The Department of Conservation maintains paddlefish populations in Lake of 
the Ozarks and Hairy S. Truman and Table Rock lakes by annually stocking 
hatchery produced fish. Fisheries biologists have studied and stocked these 
prehistoric fish fo r 40 years, yet still have much to learn. 



Collecting 
information on 
sport snagging to 
iin prove paddlefish 
stocking and manageim 

J The number of 
people snagging 



> The number and size 
of harvested paddlefish 

> Where people 
snag statewide 



The Department of Conservation is 
proposing a yearly, low-cost paddlefiih 
t nagging permit and Tetechock of 
korves ted paddle fisfi to collect sport 
snagging Information. 



Your comments and opinions are needed. 
Please share ideas online. 

mdc.mo.gov Search: improve paddlefishing 



Pl,iif to attend one &f the apen-titwse fbrtitns this fall. 




58